Man arrested and charged in beating at New Year's Eve party - News, Weather & Sports

Three accused in beating death, Sheriff comments on motive rumors

Brian D. Diamond (Source: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office) Brian D. Diamond (Source: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office)
Steven B. Ellis (Source: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office) Steven B. Ellis (Source: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office)
Kawliga L. Connelly (Source: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office) Kawliga L. Connelly (Source: Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office)

Three men are accused of manslaughter in the beating death of a Moss Bluff man, according to Calcasieu Parish Sheriff's Office authorities.

Accused in the death of 36-year-old Matthew V. Crochet, of Moss Bluff, are 41-year-old Brian Diamond, 37-year-old Kawliga L. Connelly and 40-year-old Steven B. Ellis, all of Moss Bluff.

Bond for each has been set at $950,000. All remain in the Calcasieu Parish Jail.

Sheriff Tony Mancuso said Crochet died from severe brain injuries Wednesday.

Connelly and Ellis turned themselves in on Thursday. Diamond had been jailed since the incident.

Mancuso said there were two separate altercations: One involving Crochet and Diamond in a residence on South Perkins Ferry Road and another involving Crochet outside of the residence. 

As a result of that second altercation, arrest warrants were issued for Connelly and Ellis, Mancuso said.

In a statement Thursday, Mancuso said he is aware of speculation on social networking sites on the Internet about a possible motive in Crochet's beating. He said an allegation about a sex crime may have sparked the fight.

"It appears alleged inappropriate contact with a juvenile at South Perkins Ferry Road may have precipitated the beating incident on Jan. 1," Mancuso said. "The CPSO Sex Crimes Division is investigating the allegation and has corroborated the complaint through witness statements and interviews."

"The investigation revealed Diamond demanded Crochet leave the residence. Crochet complied. Upon Crochet's departure, he exited his vehicle for unknown reasons, in front of the residence.  Witness statements indicate a second physical altercation occurred between Steve Ellis, Kawliga Connelly, Diamond and Crochet. Crochet was knocked unconscious, therefore unable to defend himself, and the beating continued, ultimately resulting in his death, and arrest warrants being issued against the three for manslaughter," Mancuso continued in the statement.

The case remains under investigation.

Mancuso said CPSO worked one homicide the entire year of 2012. Just two hours into 2013, parish authorities experienced their first one of the new year. Mancuso said he hopes this is not indicative of the year to come. 

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