GRETNA -- A New Orleans man was charged Thursday in the gruesome killing of a pregnant woman and her fetus, and her mother and father last year at their Old Jefferson home.
A Jefferson Parish grand jury charged Jatory Evans with a count of first-degree feticide and three counts of first-degree murder. The District Attorney’s office said it has not yet decided if it will seek the death penalty for Evans.
Evans is accused of attacking, stabbing and setting 20-year-old Sydney Hanson on fire on Nov. 8, 2016, as she waited to celebrate her baby shower with co-workers. Hanson was seven months pregnant and Evans was believed to be the father of the unborn child.
Evans had been under a restraining order to keep away from Hanson after an incident at the home in the 4100 block of River Road weeks earlier.
During a press conference to announce Evans’ arrest, Normand said that Hanson had been stabbed several times inside of the duplex home before being set ablaze. Normand said books and accelerant were been found at the scene where her body was discovered and that the fire might have been set to cover up the killing.
Downstairs at the home, and outside, the bodies of Sydney Hanson’s parents, 46-year-old Dwayne Hanson and 45-year-old Samantha Hanson were found. Normand said Dwayne Hanson was shot twice and that Samantha Hanson was shot five times and had been stabbed, possibly as many as 25 times.
Evans was arrested at his New Orleans home and has denied involvement in the killings and fire.
Witnesses reported hearing several gunshots and a short time later smelled smoke and the building was on fire.
Firefighters who arrived on the scene found one victim dead in the front yard and the other two inside the home.
One first responder told deputies he thought he saw someone else in the home, leading to a more cautious approach to the home until authorities could determine there was no one else inside the home who might harm first responders.