4 Texas men plead guilty to arson, 1 Texas, 2 La men to trespassing in plantation house fire


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CHALMETTE, Louisiana — Seven men have pleaded guilty to arson or trespassing in a fire that destroyed the vacant LeBeau Plantation mansion in St. Bernard Parish last November. The sheriff said when they were arrested that the men told investigators they were smoking marijuana and trying to summon ghosts.

The sheriff's office says four Texas men pleaded guilty to arson. Three got 11 years in prison and the fourth 10 years. State District Judge Jacques Sanborn suspended five years of each term, with credit for the nine months in jail since their arrests.

He sentenced two Louisiana men and one from Texas to six months in jail for criminal trespassing. Two got credit for time served. One Louisiana man made bond after 50 days; Sanborn suspended all but 50 days of his sentence.

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