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Brian D. Diamond

Brian D. Diamond

Beating death suspects in custody; Sheriff discusses rumors about motive

Last Modified: Saturday, January 05, 2013 6:03 PM

From staff reports

Two Moss Bluff men surrendered to authorities Thursday in connection with a New Year’s Day beating that left one man dead, Calcasieu Parish sheriff’s officials said.

Steven B. Ellis, 40, 620 South Perkins Ferry Road, and Kawliga L. Connelly, 37, 904 South Perkins Ferry Road, were charged with manslaughter, said sheriff’s spokeswoman Kim Myers. She said the charges stem from fights that occurred at a home on South Perkins Ferry Road and led to the death of Matthew V. Crochet, 36, of Moss Bluff.

Brian D. Diamond, 41, 904 South Perkins Ferry Road, was arrested Tuesday and is also charged with manslaughter. All three are in custody on $950,000 bond.

Sheriff Tony Mancuso said Crochet’s alleged inappropriate contact with a juvenile at the home may have instigated the beating.

“Our Sex Crimes Division is investigating the allegation and has corroborated the complaint through witness statements and interviews,” Mancuso said in a news release.

He said there were two separate fights, the first involving Diamond and Crochet inside the home. He said Diamond told Crochet to leave, but while Crochet was leaving, he got out of his car for unknown reasons. Witnesses said that’s when the second fight occurred, involving all four men, Mancuso said.

“Crochet was knocked unconscious (and was) unable to defend himself,” he said. “The beating continued, ultimately resulting in (Crochet’s) death.”

Crochet suffered severe head trauma and died Wednesday at a Lafayette hospital.

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