RAPIDES PARISH, La. (KALB) - New details have emerged from a series of police reports from the Pineville Police Department about a triple homicide that spanned Rapides Parish on October 18, 2017, that led to the arrest of a brother and sister who are now facing the death penalty.
Matthew and Ebony Sonnier | Source of Photos: RPSO
Capital defense attorneys for Matthew Sonnier, 31 of Alexandria, have filed a motion to suppress the stop of his truck, the evidence obtained during a search of that truck, and his statement made to the Pineville Police Department following his arrest the day of the murders.
Matthew Sonnier has been indicted on three counts of first-degree murder and two counts of obstruction of justice. His sister, 33-year-old Ebony Sonnier, has been indicted on two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of obstruction of justice. Ebony Sonnier was in court on Wednesday when the motions pertaining to Matthew Sonnier's case were brought up.
News Channel 5 has obtained roughly 50 pages of Pineville Police Department reports through the Rapides Parish Clerk of Court's Office pertaining to the arrest of both Matthew and Ebony, as well as information about a chase, and statements they made to police.
According to a police report filed by Detective William Smith of the Pineville Police Department, on October 18, 2017, shortly after 3 a.m., police were notified by a passerby that an unresponsive woman had been found lying in the roadway at the intersection of East Shamrock Street and Melrose Street. The victim would later be identified as 42-year-old Latish White. Smith was the first detective on the scene.
Police reports state that White had been stabbed multiple times and appeared to have been hit by the vehicle.
Surveillance video obtained from the Pineville Fast Stop showed three vehicles pass around the time the call came in, one of which was a blue truck.
After White was identified, detectives went to her home and spoke with her family. Her family was able to identify items in her bedroom that they believed belonged to Matthew Sonnier, who White had been in a relationship with "for the past several months." Sonnier was also known to have driven a blue truck.
Search warrants were obtained and Sonnier became a person of interest, according to the report. Detectives were able to speak with his father who later told them that Matthew and Ebony were living at a home on Monroe Street and that Matthew had a blue Dodge Dakota.
Officers spotted the blue Dodge Dakota near Monroe Street and recognized Matthew Sonnier. According to the report, Sonnier began to "accelerate quickly reaching a high rate of speed." A pursuit began and led to Sonnier leaving his truck at the intersection of Levin and Kelly Streets and running. He was captured on Hope Street and arrested for aggravated flight from an officer and resisting an officer. Sonnier was taken back to the Pineville Police Department.
During a search of Sonnier's vehicle, blood evidence was found.
Ebony Sonnier was brought in for questioning on an active warrant through the City of Alexandria. A search of the home turned a shell casing, drugs and some blood evidence.
It was around this time that the Pineville Police Department learned that two other individuals had been found burning in a ditch on the side of Old Boyce Road and that the Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office was working that case. Detectives believed one of the two victims was Kendrick Horn, who White had known. The victims were later positively identified as Horn and Jeremy Norris, and Sonnier became a suspect in that case as well.
In an interview that Matthew Sonnier granted with the Pineville detectives, "he stated that he had not seen Ms. White in several days and that he 'hoped she was okay.'" Sonnier later stated that he was at her house the night before and that her friend, later identified as Kendrick Horn, was also there.
Police believed that Sonnier was trying to "conceal" what he was doing that day. According to the report, he later confessed of White that he "pushed her" out of the truck. Sonnier was arrested initially for second-degree murder and the other charges from the chase.
Detectives from the Rapides Parish Sheriff's Office arrived and began to question Sonnier about the victims in the ditch. According to the report, he "denied any knowledge of the fire on Old Boyce Road but did admit that he had seen Mr. Kendrick Horn" the night before. The report continues, "As Mr. Sonnier insisted that he had nothing to do with the murder of Mr. Horn, he made the statement 'now Tish, I did that' indicating that he was responsible for the murder of Ms. White."
Surveillance video obtained on October 20, 2017, from a car wash on East Texas Avenue showed Ebony Sonnier driving the truck into the wash bay before she and her brother "exit the vehicle and begin to wash the interior and exterior of the truck apparently in an attempt to destroy evidence of these crimes."
A second search warrant was issued for the house in which the two lived, and according to the report, "several items were discovered that linked Mr. Sonnier and Ms. Ebony Sonnier to the murder of Kendrick Horn and the unknown victim who would later be identified as Jeremy Deon Norris." In the backyard, two circular impressions were observed in the grass that "appeared to be consistent in size with the pool liner" that was located covering the two victims at the Old Boyce Road crime scene. Detectives later learned through Norris' girlfriend that he had been in contact with Matthew Sonnier.
During a recorded interview with Matthew Sonnier on October 24, 2017, "Mr. Sonnier provided a confession to the shooting of Mr. Norris, and the stabbing of Mr. Horn and Ms. White." In a separate interview that same day with Ebony Sonnier, "she confirmed that she had been driving the truck throughout the entire incident. Ms. Sonnier indicated that her brother, Matthew Sonnier had killed Mr. Norris, Mr. Horn and Ms. White."
A ruling on if the defense motion will be granted will be decided by Judge Mary Doggett at a later date. Another hearing is set for September 23 on two more motions that seek to suppress statements that Ebony Sonnier made.
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