Two men with alleged involvement in the beating and armed robbery of an elderly man in Holden are now in custody, Livingston Parish Sheriff Jason Ard announced Friday.
John Bailey, 49, of Baton Rouge, and Rauman Laurent, 39, of Denham Springs, were booked into the Livingston Parish Detention Center early Friday morning, online records show.
Both are connected to the armed robbery of 87-year-old Lloyd “Sonny” Hutchinson, who was beaten, robbed at gunpoint, and tied up inside his Holden home Monday. Hutchinson was taken to a local hospital after the attack but was later released and allowed to return home.
Bailey was booked on charges of armed robbery, attempted first-degree murder, and felon in possession of a firearm. Laurent was booked on one charge of accessory after the fact to armed robbery.
“I’m just glad and hope the residents around the Holden are can sleep a little better tonight knowing these guys are behind bars,” Ard said in a video posted to the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office’s Facebook page.
The incident occurred in the 33,000 stretch of LA Highway 441 around 7:30 p.m. Monday, Hutchinson’s family members said. Hutchinson was robbed of cash and other valuables when an unidentified male forced his way inside his home.
The masked suspect struck Hutchinson multiple times with a pistol — including multiple times on the head — before taking all that was inside a safe and leaving in Hutchinson’s 2005 Ford Taurus.
Though his hands were tied, Hutchinson was able to call his son, Sammy, for help. After Sammy found his father bloodied and bruised, he called the Livingston Parish Sheriff’s Office, and detectives quickly launched an investigation.
Hutchinson’s family eventually offered a $30,000 reward to anyone who could provide information leading to the robber’s arrest.
Ard said his detectives “worked tirelessly” to solve the case and were aided by a tip from Greater Baton Rouge Crime Stoppers. Ard also thanked sheriff’s offices in East Baton Rouge and West Baton Rouge parishes as well as Louisiana State Police for their assistance.
“Thank you, thank you, thank you,” Ard said. “This is what we call teamwork. Teamwork has to happen in these types of crimes to solve them as quickly as possible.”
Ard said detectives were able to recover some of the stolen cash and valuables and are hopeful that more will be recovered. He also said more arrests may be coming in the ongoing investigation.
“But right now, we know we have the main two people in custody as we speak,” Ard said.
In his video, Ard issued a stern warning to others thinking of committing crimes in his parish.
“You come over here to Livingston Parish and do these types of crimes, you’re gonna go to jail,” he said. “We’re gonna hunt you down and get you what you deserve, and that’s justice.”
Following news of the incident, people in Livingston Parish and across the state rallied behind Hutchinson and his family. Photos of Hutchinson’s bruised face spread rapidly on social media and across the country, and thousands of people shared news reports about the attack in the hopes that detectives would find the culprits.
Additionally, a GoFundMe account was set up to help Hutchinson recover some of the funds that were stolen, and it has since raised more than $10,000.
Wyatt Pearson, Hutchinson’s grandson, took to social media to thank the Sheriff’s Office and all those who helped in suspects’ capture.
“Very thankful for LPSO, they worked around the clock until they figured it out,” Pearson wrote. “Definitely makes everybody feel safe and proud to be from Livingston parish. They take it serious around here. We appreciate everybody who helped spread the word and any prayers, condolences, donations, everything!”