Jury Convicts Ville Platte Man of Armed Robbery of St. Landry Parish Convenience Store
LAFAYETTE, LA—A trial of two Ville Platte men ended with a jury finding one man guilty and a verdict deadlocked for the second man on charges stemming from a robbery of more than $11,000 from a truck stop and a casino in St. Landry Parish, U.S. Attorney Stephanie A. Finley announced.
The trial started on Monday for Ronald James Doomes, 25, and Arinkis Tryvon Orlandeze Jones, 24, both of Ville Platte, La. Both were charged with one count of interference with commerce by robbery and one count of use and carrying of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. After a four-day trial, on Thursday, the jury delivered guilty verdicts on both counts against Doomes. The jury deliberated for over five hours. Deliberations on the charges against Jones continued until late Friday morning when they sent a note to the judge declaring they could not reach a unanimous verdict on either count. U.S. District Judge Elizabeth E. Foote declared a mistrial on Friday as to defendant Jones. Defendant Jones is scheduled for re-trial on August 25, 2014.
Doomes, Jones and Steven Dudley Nelson, 25, also of Ville Platte, were indicted in a superceding indictment on October 24, 2012, on charges that they took part in an armed robbery on April 8, 2011, at the Tiger Trax Truckstop #7 and Video Joker II Casino located in St. Landry Parish. Nelson pleaded guilty on October 28, 2013, to interference with commerce by robbery and use and carrying of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. The sentencing date for Nelson is currently for August 7, 2014.
Doomes faces 20 years in prison for interference with commerce by robbery and seven years to life in prison for use and carrying of a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence. He also faces up to five years of supervised release, restitution, forfeiture of the guns used and a $250,000 fine for each count. A sentencing date of November 15, 2014 was set for Doomes.
“This robbery was an act of brutality that placed innocent employees’ and customers’ lives at risk,” Finley stated. “I hope this case serves to dispel the notion that robbery is a quick and easy way to make money. If you commit this crime, you will be punished to the fullest extent of the law.”
This case is part of Project Safe Neighborhoods. Project Safe Neighborhoods is a Department of Justice initiative designed to reduce firearm crimes by removing dangerous and persistent felons from the community and promote firearm safety. The PSN attorneys prosecute a variety of federal firearms violations listed in Titles 18 and 26 of the U.S. Code, including illegal possession of firearms and commission of crimes with firearms.
The FBI, ATF and the St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Joseph T. Mickel prosecuted the case.