DENHAM SPRINGS, Louisiana — Sheriff's deputies say a Denham Springs man with a history of domestic violence admitted beating his girlfriend to death with a metal pipe.
Livingston Parish Sheriff Jason Ard tells The Advocate (http://bit.ly/1kNaV7h ) 37-year-old Jerry J. Pinestraw Jr. told investigators he fatally struck his live-in girlfriend, 29-year-old Nicole M. Ozment, during a heated argument either late Monday or early Tuesday.
A woman living nearby called 911 early Tuesday to notify deputies they were needed at the couple's home. At the home, deputies found Ozment's three children, all under the age of 10, and Pinestraw, who cooperated fully with investigators, Ard said.
Investigators are in the process of interviewing the children, who are now in state custody, the sheriff said.
The children, whose specific ages were not released, are Ozment's — Pinestraw is not their father, Ard said.
"At least one of them did witness and see the actual crime," Ard said. He would not say where in the house the fatal beating took place or what rooms the children were in at the time.
"I think it was all over (the house)," Ard said of the fight. "I don't think it was in one particular room."
Ard said he didn't know what the couple was arguing about.
Deputies booked Pinestraw into the Livingston Parish Detention Center on a count of second-degree murder and three counts of child desertion. Under Louisiana law, child desertion involves either intentionally or negligently exposing children under the age of 10 to dangerous circumstances where they cannot reasonably be expected to protect themselves.
Pinestraw's bail was set at $500,000, booking records show.
Information from: The Advocate, http://theadvocate.com