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Mercier returns to court in May

A former treasurer of the Bogue Chitto volunteer fire department indicted for embezzlement is expected to go before a jury in May after a psychiatric evaluation showed she is competent to stand trial.

Helen Jean Mercier, 68, is accused of taking money from the fire department’s bank account for personal use. An August indictment said Mercier used the money to pay personal debts.

Mercier is the wife of former Bogue Chitto Fire Chief Sedgie Mercier.

The current chief, Blake Wallace, would not say at the time of Mercier’s arrest how much money was allegedly stolen, but did say it would be a significant burden on the department’s finances.

According to court records, Dr. Mark Webb performed a psychiatric evaluation and at a competency hearing held in October, Mercier was declared competent to stand trial.

A trial date was originally set for Feb. 14 before Judge David Strong, but has been rescheduled to May 9.

Helen Jean Mercier

Other cases on the docket set for trial in May in Strong’s courtroom include:

• Joshua Lee Holifield — touching, handling, etc. a child for lustful purposes; sexual battery

• Marcus D. Smith — aggravated assault (four counts); shooting into a motor vehicle

• Jaymon D. Nunnery — sexual battery

Cases set for trial in Judge Michael Taylor’s courtroom include:

• Donny Wilson — tax evasion; trial set for March 28

• Albert Charles Thomas — kidnapping; trial set for March 28

• Joshua Eric Hart — larceny, taking motor vehicle; trial set for March 28

• Cordarryl Lamond Bell — first degree murder; trial continued to April 4

• Jamaal Brown — capital murder; trial reset to June 12