Domestic violence keeps deputies busy


On May 8, Washington Parish Sheriff's Office Sergeant Mike Thomas was dispatched to a rural area in the central part of the parish in response to an assault on an elderly man who had been attacked in his home by a younger woman after an argument turned violent.

The victim had a back injury and Sgt. Thomas observed blood and signs of a struggle inside the house.

Sgt. Thomas was able to locate the aggressor and arrested Dana Deshay Westmoreland, 34, a resident of Ed Gerald Road. She was booked into the Washington Parish Jail on a charge of battery. Westmoreland remains in jail with her bond set at $2,500.

Westmoreland has one previous jail stay in Washington Parish. In June 2019, she was arrested and charged with simple battery with injury, battery on an officer with injury, four counts of resisting an officer with force or violence and three counts of battery of a correctional officer. She remained in jail for over two months on those charges.

"It seems Ms. Westmoreland might have anger issues," stated Sheriff Randy Seal. "Thanks, Sgt. Thomas, for responding quickly and taking her into custody. Good job!”


Noconiea Higginbotham, 31, a resident of Chapel Hill Road west of Franklinton, was arrested by Washington Parish Sheriff's Office patrol deputy Norman Taylor on May 8 and placed in the Washington Parish Jail on charges of domestic abuse, aggravated battery and disturbing the peace. She was able to meet the conditions of a $10,000 bond and gain her release from jail the same day.

The arrest was the result of Higginbotham striking a family member on the head with a piece of lumber and threatening to strike him again with a metal shovel. The victim was treated on-site by Northshore EMS.

"Domestic violence calls are always potentially dangerous for deputies," stated Sheriff Randy Seal. "Too often the aggressor vents hostility on responding officers. Thankfully, this did not occur during this situation. I am grateful to Deputy Taylor for handling this potentially explosive situation in such a professional manner."


Dwayne Juwan Elzey, 21, a resident of the Mount Hermon area, was arrested on May 10, Mother's Day, by Washington Parish Sheriff's Office patrol deputy Kyle Stogner and booked into the Washington Parish Jail on charges of domestic battery by strangulation, domestic abuse with child endangerment, resisting an officer with force or violence, resisting an officer by flight on foot, and two counts of failure to appear in court. He remains in jail with $7,500 bond, and must remain in jail pending a mandatory court appearance.

Deputy Stogner's investigation indicated that Elzey assaulted a woman in the presence of her children. Elzey was handcuffed for safety as Sgt. Mike Thomas arrived on the scene to assist. As the two officers were arresting Elzey and placing him in the patrol vehicle, Elzey attempted to head butt Sgt. Thomas and then ran away from the officers who were able to subdue him with use of an electronic stun device. Elzey was evaluated by Northshore EMS and then transported to the jail.

"There is no rationale for domestic abuse," stated Sheriff Randy Seal, "and in the presence of children makes it even worse. Thanks, Deputy Stogner and Sgt. Thomas for protecting this mother and putting her attacker in jail."


The Era-Leader welcomes any and all news and photos of general interest to our readers!