METAIRIE, La. (WGNO) — Almost exactly 3 years after a Metairie woman was brutally beaten during a home burglary, a man has been convicted for his involvement in the crime.
A Jefferson Parish jury found 25-year-old Antonio Key of Harvey guilty of aggravated burglary with a firearm enhancement, DA Paul Connick, Jr. announced on Thursday.
The case dates back to April 30, 2019, when just before midnight, Key and two other men traveled to Metairie from the West Bank in a borrowed car.
It was revealed Key had previously been inside the home, located in the 4600 block of Southshore Drive when he was working a job with an air conditioning company. A release from the DA’s office reports Key also took pictures from the inside of the home, including photos of jewelry.
Key and one of the men, Rodgers Hart reportedly wore masks as they broke through the home’s back door, while the other man, Darius Daleo stayed in the car.
Two women were inside the house during the invasion: a 67-year-old woman and her 38-year-old daughter. The daughter triggered the panic alarm when she realized the home was invaded.
Court documents say the daughter was confronted by the two men, but it was when her mother confronted the burglars that the elderly woman was severely beaten.
Evidence indicated the two men eventually left the home while the two women barricaded themselves in a bedroom until police arrived.
The three men were found when a Louisiana State Trooper located their car near North Causeway and I-10 and tried to conduct a traffic stop. The Trooper was led on a chase spanning about 2 miles, which ended when the driver lost control and wrecked the car.
The three men then ran away from the crash.
Daleo was the first to be captured, then Hart, who reportedly stole a pizza delivery car to leave the scene of the wreck.
Key was later identified as the third burglar and was arrested when arriving to work days later. Although originally denying involvement in the burglary, cell phone records revealed Key was in the women’s neighborhood during the robbery, and then in the area of the wreck when the car crashed.
When testifying, Connick said Key “played up” his service in the Marine Corps and claimed that he had only thought about robbing the home–not actually following through with it. He added that the night of the robbery, he only stayed in the car while Daleo and Hart went inside–something that was directly contradicted by evidence.
Daleo insisted he was the driver during the invasion and that Key indeed went inside. In November 2021, Daleo pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary and was sentenced to 8 years in prison.
One month later, Hart also pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary, felon in possession of a firearm, and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. He was sentenced to a combined total of 18 years in prison.
Key’s sentencing is scheduled for May 17.