During the evening of March 17, a burglar alarm at a pharmacy in Mt. Hermon alerted the Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office of a possible burglary in progress. When patrol deputies and detectives arrived at the scene, they discovered that forced entry had been made into the building through a rear window and a concerned neighbor reported seeing someone climb out of that window. Officers entered the pharmacy and discovered a logo designer cap on the floor. As it turned out, the cap belonged to one of the burglars, a 16 year old Slidell resident.
Nearby on Highway 38, officers noticed young persons in a vehicle which obviously was having mechanical problems. Eye witness accounts and evidence collected at the crime scene led to the identification of a 16 year old male in the vehicle as the person who had entered the pharmacy. He was arrested and later transported to the Florida Parishes Detention Center. His name is being withheld due to his juvenile status.
While officers were still at the scene, an additional eye witness came forward and reported that another young man was concealing an item that was believed to be a pistol. Deputies located the pistol and discovered that the serial number had been filed off. The young man in possession of the pistol was determined to be Kody Allen Singletary, 17, a resident of South Wood Drive in Slidell. Singletary was arrested and transported to the Washington Parish Jail charged with possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number. He was released on March 20 after posting a $5,000 bond.
In June 2016, Governor John Bel Edwards signed a new law which changes the age at which a person will be considered an adult in the criminal justice system. While the current age is 17, that will change to 18 in coming years. As of July 2018, 17-year-olds charged with nonviolent offenses will be included in the juvenile justice system. As of July 2020, 17-year-olds charged with any offense will be included in the juvenile justice system.
Sheriff Randy Seal commented. “What a tragedy that these young men are already involved in criminal activity. I certainly hope and pray that this experience will serve as a wake-up call for them and will provide an incentive for each of them to evaluate their priorities and alter course with their lives. No person should be a captive to the forces that drive them to commit such acts and these young men certainly can have many productive years ahead of them to become responsible citizens.”
“This is another good example,” said Sheriff Seal, “of the importance of the partnership between the Sheriff’s Office and residents of Washington Parish. I am grateful to the witnesses who came forward to provide valuable information and to our officers who did an excellent job in quickly solving this crime.”