A Hammond man has pleaded to manslaughter, a Springfield man to domestic abuse battery, and an Independence man to 20 counts of pornography involving juveniles.

District Attorney Scott M. Perrilloux’s office announced the pleas in 21st District Court this week and provided the following information:

Manslaughter

Christopher Bell Sr., 39, of Hammond, pleaded no contest to the manslaughter of Tyreyon Garner, who died from a single gunshot wound to the chest Dec. 5, 2018. Bell also pleaded to fraudulent firearm/ammunition purchase.

The shooting stemmed from an argument that occurred when Bell saw his ex-girlfriend with Garner at her apartment at the Valencia Villas Apartments. The apartment complex is off South Range Road east of the Montessori school. Eyewitnesses identified Bell as the shooter. The firearm used had been illegally purchased through a third party.

Wanted on an arrest warrant, Bell turned himself in at the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office two days later.

Assistant District Attorneys Le’Anne Malnar and Brett Sommer represented the state. Judge William Dykes handed down the sentence.

Domestic abuse

Matthew Martello, 29, of Springfield, pleaded no contest to domestic abuse battery – first offense – strangulation and second-degree kidnapping. He has been sentenced to five years with the department of corrections.

The victim told Livingston Parish sheriff’s deputies on Oct 5, 2020, that her boyfriend had held her captive for two days and prevented her from leaving a Blood River Road residence through physical force, including strangulation. They saw redness and bruising on her face, neck, arms, and legs. A warrant was issued for Martello’s arrest. He was apprehended Oct. 8 and taken to the Livingston Parish Jail.

Assistant District Attorney Serena Birch represented the state. Judge Brian Abels handed down the sentence.

Pornography

Brad C. Phillips, 34, of Independence, pleaded no contest to 20 counts of pornography involving juveniles – victim under 13 years of age. He is to appear before Judge William Dykes on July 13 at 9 a.m. for sentencing.

Assistant District Attorney Le’Anne Malnar represented the state.

In an ongoing investigation of child exploitation, special agents with the Louisiana Department of Justice on May 2, 2017, found Phillips had received child pornography through the social media application KIK.

A federal search warrant was issued, and on May 4, 2017, the special agents with Homeland Security Investigations and the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office tried to search the property they believed to be Phillips’ home. However, it turned out to be a vacant lot. They then learned he owned Angie’s Bar in Independence and found him there.

Phillips gave his email address and password to the officers which revealed numerous pornographic images of child sexual abuse.

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