In Metairie home burglary, air-conditioning company employee found guilty of beating customer | Law courts

A Harvey man has been found guilty of pistol-whipping a Metairie woman during a burglary he plotted against her home.

A Jefferson Parish jury on Wednesday convicted Antonio Key, 25, of aggravated burglary with a firearm for the crime of April 30, 2019. Key had previously been inside the victim’s home, because of his work at an air conditioning company, and had used his phone to take photos of jewelry and other items for the planned burglary, authorities said.

On the night of the crime, Key and his cronies, Rodgers Hart and Darius Daleo, drove a borrowed car to the 4600 block of Southshore Drive. Key and Hart, masked, broke in through a back door while Daleo stayed with the car, authorities said.

Inside the house, in one bedroom, were a 67-year-old woman and her 38-year-old daughter. The daughter triggered the panic alarm and the mother confronted the burglars but was beaten. The burglars left without stealing anything and jumped into the getaway vehicle.

Burglars run away, crash

Soon, a Louisiana state trooper noticed the car was driving without lights and tried to stop it. The car started then crashed and three men fled. The soldier found Daleo nearby and arrested him.

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Hart spotted a person making a pizza delivery in the 700 block of Derbigny Street and ordered the driver to help him escape, but the delivery person jumped out of the car and fled. Hart left in the vehicle.

Investigators arrested Hart and Key a few days later.

Key’s story

Daleo, a 24-year-old Marrero resident, pleaded guilty Nov. 3 to aggravated burglary and was sentenced to eight years in prison. Hart, 26, of Marrero, pleaded guilty Dec. 15 to aggravated burglary, being a convicted felon with a firearm and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, and was sentenced to 18 years in prison.

At trial, Key claimed he stayed in the car while Daleo and Hart entered the women’s home, but prosecutors said other evidence contradicted this.

The jury deliberated just two hours before returning with its unanimous verdict, the district attorney’s office said. Judge Adrian Adams of the 24th Judicial District Court is due to sentence Key on May 17.

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