LOCKPORT, La. -- There was a step toward closure in a shocking case in Lockport on Wednesday, as authorities announced charges against their prime suspect in the killings of 29 year old Jacquelin Nieves and her daughters, Gabriella, 7, and Izabela, 1.
Lafourche Parish Sheriff Craig Webre describes the suspect, David Brown, as a “serious, habitual violent criminal.”
"(Brown) has been arrested multiple times, almost every year of his life, since the time he was a juvenile,” Webre said. “He has been incarcerated multiple times."
Now, Brown could face the death penalty.
In the early morning hours of Nov. 4 -- while Jacquelin and the young girls slept -- authorities said Brown sexually assaulted two of the victims and then stabbed all three, before setting fire to their apartment.
Officials said Jacqueline's husband, who was sleeping on the couch downstairs at the time, woke up and dialed 9-1-1 after realizing the apartment was on fire.
According to police, Brown was a co-worker with one of the Nieves family’s neighbors, but otherwise, had no connection to them.
Investigators said extensive evidence connects Brown to the crimes, including a match of DNA from the scene, and surveillance footage that places him in the area at the time.
"This is one of the most horrific crimes in the history of Lafourche Parish -- three beautiful people, a loving mother and two wonderful children, who were violently killed while they slept in the privacy of their own home by a violent criminal monster," Webre said. "If he is convicted, our expectation is that the years would be a life sentence, but our expectation is that'll be shortened by a lethal injection."
Brown is charged with numerous offenses in the case, including first-degree murder, aggravated rape and aggravated arson.
He’s being held on a $3.3 million bail.