Contact: Ken Daley, Public Information
District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office on Wednesday (May 8) secured a guilty plea and 25-year prison sentence for a man who kidnapped a New Orleans East woman from her home in an attempt to rob her bank account in 2016.
Clarence Cobbs, 57, pleaded guilty as charged to aggravated burglary and to an amended charge of second-degree kidnapping as part of a plea agreement approved by the victim and ad hoc Criminal District Judge Dennis Waldron. Cobbs had faced a potential life sentence had he been convicted on his original charge of aggravated kidnapping.
“Given the age of this defendant, we agreed a 25-year sentence was sufficient to spare the victim the additional trauma of a trial while also ensuring no one else will be harmed by this dangerous individual,” Cannizzaro said. “This man put his victim through a
terrifying ordeal, and now he will pay a significant price for that criminal conduct.”
The victim, 60 years old at the time, had employed Cobbs as a handyman to effect repairs at her house on Chimney Wood Lane. Cobbs took advantage of her trust by leaving a window unlocked so that he could break into her home on the night of Dec. 18, 2016.
The woman tried to defend herself with a golf club, but Cobbs managed to tie her up with an electrical cord, took her bank debit card and demanded the PIN. When she refused, Cobbs put the woman into her own car and drove to an automated teller machine near Downman and Dwyer roads in the Pines Village neighborhood of New Orleans East.
The victim attempted to escape at the bank, but Cobbs caught her and stuffed her into the trunk of her car. When the car stopped in the 7200 block of Downman Road, the woman managed to escape from the trunk unnoticed and run to a nearby gas station to call police.
Officers brought the woman back to her house, where they spotted her car parked nearby. Cobbs was found crouching in the floorboard of the vehicle and was arrested and confessed to the crimes with the debit card still in his possession.
The victim was present in court Wednesday to hear Cobbs’ guilty plea and see his sentence imposed.
Assistant District Attorney Sarah Dawkins prosecuted the case.
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