Hostage call leads to arrests for all

Published 1:33 pm Thursday, November 10, 2016

On Nov. 9, 2016, the Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office was notified that a female was being held hostage in a residence on Smith Road in Franklinton.

Patrol deputies and narcotics detectives quickly responded to the scene of the complaint. Upon arrival at the scene, officers learned that Laurie B. Burris, a resident of the Smith Road address, was not a hostage; rather, she was in a dispute with visitors at her residence who had taken her car keys and would not allow her to leave the property. She accused two males and two females who were standing in her driveway of being the ones who took her car keys.

A narcotics detective approached one of the males whom the sheriff’s office says it believes is involved in the drug trade in Washington Parish.

Michael Shea Pittman, 25, a resident of Highway 62, was found to be in possession of 10.5 grams of methamphetamine, 10 grams of marijuana, drug paraphernalia and $1,108 cash. Pittman was arrested and transported to the Washington Parish Jail where he is being held on charges of Possession of Schedule I Drugs, Possession of Schedule II Drugs and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. He remains in jail with his bond set at $35,500.

According to the sheriff’s office, Pittman has a long history of being in the Washington Parish Jail, beginning in 2009 when he was arrested for Possession of Schedule IV Drugs. In 2014 he was arrested again for simple battery, reckless operation of a motor vehicle, convicted felon in possession of a firearm and other traffic related offenses.

According to the sheriff’s office he was also arrested in 2015 for introduction of contraband into a penal institute, possession of schedule III drugs and failure to appear. According to the sheriff’s office, he was arrested in March for contempt of court and in August for being a fugitive from another jurisdiction.

A background check on Burris, 58, revealed outstanding warrants for her arrest. She was arrested and transported to the Washington Parish Jail where she is being held on two counts of failure to appear. She remains in jail with her bond set at $2,550.

According to the sheriff’s office, Burris is not a stranger to the Washington Parish Jail, having been arrested in 2009 for driving while intoxicated. According to the sheriff’s office, she had another 2009 arrest for unauthorized entry of an inhabited dwelling and a 2013 arrest for the same offense.

Another person present outside the residence was also arrested.

Joseph Ray Carter, 39, a resident of Tullos Road in Franklinton, was placed in the Washington Parish Jail on a charge of contempt of court. He remains in jail with no bond set.

According to the sheriff’s office, Carter was previously arrested in 2010 for issuing worthless checks.

“The report by Ms. Burris of being held hostage did not work out well for her,” said Sheriff Randy Seal. “As it turns out, she was not being held hostage, but was wanted for outstanding warrants. Her call also led to the discovery of illegal narcotics and the arrests of two other individuals. This developed into a bad day for outlaws and a good day for honest law-abiding citizens of our parish. Our alert deputies and detectives did their usual good job and removed three criminals from our streets.”