Evacuees Charged in Slaying; Another Killed in Separate Incident

10-31-05 - A New Orleans evacuee was killed in Houston the day after three hurricane evacuees were charged with capital murder in the death of an elderly Pasadena woman.

Stacy Joseph Johnson, 38, of New Orleans was fatally stabbed Sunday during a carjacking of a pickup, police said.

The 18-year-old pickup truck owner apparently stabbed Johnson when he tried to steal the vehicle at knifepoint, police said.

In Pasadena, three hurricane evacuees have been charged with capital murder in the strangulation of a 77-year-old Pasadena woman who had been paying them for odd jobs and yard work on her property.

Jimmy Hoang Le, 18, Stephanie Jacobo, 18, both from the Beaumont area, and Roosevelt Smith Jr., 43, of Louisiana, were charged Saturday with killing Betty Blair during a robbery at her Pasadena home Friday.

"It appears that those that she tried to help were the ones that murdered her," said Pasadena Police Department spokesman Vance Mitchell. The three lived together in a Pasadena apartment, Mitchell said.

They were arrested Friday night driving Blair's 2000 Buick, in which some of Blair's belongings were found. Jacobo's 10-month-old son also was in the car and is now with relatives, said Gwen Carter, a spokeswoman for the Department of Family and Protective Services.

The car was located through OnStar, an onboard electronic tracking system.

Blair, an active member of St. Pius V Catholic Church, was the mother of three daughters and the widow of former Pasadena school board President Robert "Bob" Blair.

The three suspects were the second group of evacuees Blair had helped, said her neighbor and fellow parishioner Mary Titus. Just after Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans in late August, Blair took three women from New Orleans into her home.

"They were very nice people _ a grandmother, a mother and a daughter _ who went to church with Betty every Sunday," Titus said. "They apparently got back on their feet within a month and moved on."

The pastor of St. Pius V Catholic Church in Pasadena, the Rev. Hubert Kealy, said that Blair was involved in the parish's Social Services Ministry, which had "really geared up" after Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast and Hurricane Rita hit East Texas.


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