Updated LRN PM Newscall

After several wildfires sparked over the weekend several parishes have begun instituting outdoor burn bans. Brooke Thorington has more.

Cut 1 (31)  “…I’m Brooke Thorington.”


The family of Jerome Stevenson have hired nationally renowned civil rights lawyer Ben Crump as they are seeking justice and more information on Stevenson’s in-custody death in Marksville. Jeff Palermo has the story…

Cut 2 (30)  “…I’m Jeff Palermo.” 


Wildfires in the Bayou State increased dramatically over the weekend. Ag and Forestry Commissioner Mike Strain says some of the fires were a result of burn piles that got out of control or were abandoned.

Cut 3 (10) “…aggressively.”  

Several parishes have already issued their own burn ban. Strain urges people not to do any outdoor burning…

Cut 4 (08) “…massive wildfires.”

Wildfire activity has been reported across the state and in DeRidder alone, Strain says within 10 minutes they had six fires.

Cut 5 (09) “…the parish.”


Civil rights lawyer Ben Crump was in Avoyelles Parish today as he’s representing Jerome Stevenson. He died while in custody at the Avoyelles Parish Sheriff’s jail in Marksville last November. An inmate and two correction officers have been charged in his murder. Crump says he will fight for justice for the Stevenson family

Cut 6  (11) “…were fighting” 

The Avoyelles Parish Sheriff’s Office has not released many details about Stevenson’s in custody death. Crump says an autopsy report shows the 26-year-old died as a result of blunt force trauma to the head and stomach…

Cut 7 (13) “…to death”  

37-year-old John Williams of Mansura has been charged with second degree murder. He was an inmate at the jail. Corrections deputies, 60-year-old Byron White and 61-year-old Frank Overbey also face charges. White has been charged with malfeasance in office and Overbey principal to second-degree murder. Crump says the family deserves answers to what happened with Stevenson

Cut 8 (10) “…that yet” 


51-year-old Leon Ruffin, who’s been in custody for second-degree murder in the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center, escaped from the parking lot of Ochsner Westbank Sunday and drove off in a deputy’s marked car. Sheriff Joe Lopinto says Ruffin was being treated for a seizure and other injuries they believe he was now faking.

Cut 9 (11) “…on her.” 

The stolen unit was later found abandoned in Algiers.

Ruffin was being transported back to the correctional center from the hospital when he escaped. Lopinto says Ruffin pepper-sprayed the deputy to gain control of the car.

Cut 10 (08) “…point and time.”

Lopinto says State Police, NOPD, and the FBI are assisting in the search. He considers Ruffin, armed and dangerous…

Cut 11 (12) “…his custody.”

Ruffin has been in custody since July 2023 for second-degree murder, aggravated assault, a convicted felon with a firearm, and obstruction of justice.


Legislation that would give non-felon adults the ability to legally carry a concealed handgun without a permit or training continues to sail through the Legislature. The full Senate has already approved New Iberia Senator Blake Miguez’s measure and today it received approval from the House Criminal Justice Committee…

Cut 12 (10)  “…our state”  

Officials from New Orleans oppose. City council president Helena Moreno says New Orleans police officers question individuals when they believe a person may be possessing a gun underneath their clothes. Moreno says it’s a important police tactic used during Mardi Gras and other big events…

Cut 13 (10) “…possible”  

Miguez says his legislation does not change current law, which prohibits guns near a parade route or in bars. He also says there’s evidence his legislation will help deter shootings…

Cut  14 (09) “.took effect”