Saturday, May 17, 2014

Former Officer Walter Urena Incest Conviction Upheld

The Louisiana 3rd Circuit Court of Appeal has affirmed the incest convictions of a retired Alexandria police officer, but it ordered a review of part of his sentencing.

Walter Urena, 66, was found guilty on five of six counts of aggravated incest in a jury trial in 2013. He was sentenced to two consecutive 20-year terms and three concurrent 10-year prison terms.

Urena, who was arrested in July 2011, appealed the convictions and the sentences on the grounds of insufficient evidence and that the two 20-year sentences were excessive.

On May 7, the appellate court sent the case back to the trial court to reconsider the consecutive 20-year sentences.

According to the appellate court’s opinion, written by Judge Billy Howard Ezell, Urena “is not one of the worst of offenders when it comes to child sexual abuse.”

The opinion also states that “while the victim in the current case was a minor, five or six when the abuse began, it did not escalate from touching and ended when the victim told him to stop. Without sufficient justification, we find that the two consecutive sentences totaling forty years is nothing more than cruel and unusual punishment.”

Rapides Parish Assistant District Attorney Monique Metoyer prosecuted the case.

She said prosecuting a public figure, such as a former police officer, carries with it a different level of expectations.

“There’s a level of disappointment you don’t have otherwise,” she said. “It’s almost incomprehensible. You think you know someone, and you don’t. It’s a total violation, and it’s a selfish, selfish act.”

Former Officer Steven Webb & Wife Sentenced to Prison for Child Porn Charges

Ex-Kannapolis police officer Steven Anthony Webb and his wife were sentenced this week in a child porn case after they agreed to plead guilty in December.

Steven Webb, of 1408 Nottingham Drive, Kannapolis, originally was charged with receiving child pornography, distributing child pornography, two counts of possessing material containing child pornography and one count of accessing child pornography with the intent to view.

He pleaded guilty to the accessing child pornography charge and was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years in prison, Kannapolis police confirm. He will also have to register as a sex offender.

Tracy Webb, of the same address, was sentenced Wednesday to three years in prison after pleading guilty to misprision of a felony -- failing to notify authorities about her husband’s actions.

Prosecutors agreed to not oppose a motion to dismiss her original charge -- knowingly and willfully making a materially false, fictitious and fraudulent statement and representation to agents from the FBI.

Steven Webb, a former Kannapolis police officer, was accused of receiving and distributing child pornography over the summer. He worked for KPD from June 18, 2008 until his termination on July 31, 2013, after his arrest by the FBI on July 22.

Prosecutors had planned to use testimony from four witnesses who claimed Steven Webb abused them as minors. They also said the minors in the recording featuring Tracy Webb “implicate sexual abuse by both defendants,” according to a document filed in the case.

Kannapolis Police Chief Woody Chavis said an anonymous tip in July led KPD to Steven Webb, and the agency immediately called in the FBI.