Slidell woman indicted for murder in the stabbing death of her aunt

Photo of Kenya Despenza provided by St Tammany Parish District Attorney’s Office

COVINGTON, LA — A Saint Tammany Parish Grand Jury handed up a second degree murder indictment against a Slidell woman who is accused of killing her own aunt.

Prosecutors say 39-year-old Kenya Despenza stabbed to death her aunt, Dianne Bercy, inside the victim’s home in Slidell.

In July, Slidell police were performing a welfare check on Bercy at her home on Paige Court.  Police say the woman’s sister contacted them after not hearing from her for several days.

Officers found Bercy’s body inside the home.  They say she appeared to have suffered “unusual injuries” and her car was missing.

Police quickly located the car and say Despenza was driving it.  She was booked into the St. Tammany Parish Jail on a charge of theft of a motor vehicle as well as an unrelated warrant for failure to appear.

Police ruled that the case was a homicide and determined the victim was stabbed to death.  That’s when Despenza was booked with the additional murder charge.

Prosecutors say Despenza was living with Bercy at the time of the murder.  So far, police and prosecutors have not released a motive in the case.