The death of a Moss Bluff man on Wednesday, Jan. 2, after being involved in two reported altercations on New Year's Day has led to upgraded charges for one man and warrants out for the arrest of two others. Matthew Crochet, 36, died of his injuries after being transported to a Lafayette hospital for treatment of severe head trauma.
It was on Jan. 1, at approximately 2:35 a.m., that Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office deputies responded to a report of a fight at a party on S. Perkins Ferry Rd. in Moss Bluff. Upon arrival, deputies reportedly discovered Crochet laying on the ground unresponsive. Medical emergency personnel were called and transported Crochet to a Lafayette hospital where he died Wednesday from his injuries.
According to the CPSO, a physical altercation reportedly occurred inside the Moss Bluff residence between Crochet and Brian D. Diamond, 41, of S. Perkins Ferry Road, Moss Bluff. Sheriff Tony Mancuso released a statement on Thursday saying that that the altercation may have been sparked by alleged inappropriate contact with a juvenile. He further stated that the CPSO Sex Crimes Division is investigating the allegation and has corroborated the complaint through witness statements and interviews.
After the first altercation, Diamond reportedly demanded Crochet leave the residence. Crochet reportedly complied. However, a second altercation with Crochet reportedly occurred outside the residence involving Diamond, Kawliga L. Connelly, 37, of Moss Bluff, and Steven Ellis, 40, also of Moss Bluff. Crochet was reportedly knocked unconscious but the beating continued, ultimately resulting in Crochet's death on Wednesday.
Initially, Diamond was arrested and booked into the Calcasieu Correctional Center on Jan. 1 and charged with 2nd degree battery. However, due to Crochet's death, authorities upgraded the charges against Diamond to manslaughter.
Judge Clayton Davis had set his bond at $350,000 on the 2nd degree battery charge but as the charges have been upgraded, Diamond's bond increased to $950,000.
The CPSO announced on Thursday that arrest warrants for manslaughter were issued for Connelly and Ellis, both of S. Perkins Rd. A bond for each man had been set at $950,000 apiece.Ellis reportedly turned himself in to authorities later Thursday afternoon, and Connelly was expected to do the same.
CPSO Detective Kathy LeBlanc is the lead investigator on this case.