February 18, 2023

Slidell Man Found Guilty as Charged for False Communication with Intent to
Cause an Emergency Response and Criminal Trespassing

District Attorney Warren Montgomery reports that on Wednesday, February 15, 2023, a jury found John Key Thomas, age 48, of Slidell, Louisiana guilty of false communication with intent to cause an emergency response.

On September 20, 2019, the defendant called the police and complained that his neighbor, had been brandishing a rifle and had discharged multiple rounds. He claimed the neighbor returned inside his home.  He said he then saw the neighbor, through a window, putting the neighbor’s wife in a headlock and holding a gun to her head.

Based on this report, deputies, S.W.A.T. and a team of negotiators were called to the neighbor’s home. The defendant began inserting himself in the investigation and when asked to move from the perimeter, he became combative and refused to move. He was handcuffed for his own safety. As police tried to escort him to a patrol unit, he refused to cooperate, forcing deputies to carry him.

Officers called the neighbor on the phone and asked him to exit his residence. He was taken into custody. In his interview, the neighbor told police that the defendant’s story was not true. He said that he and the defendant had been arguing all day because the defendant had hit him with a car door, causing him to lose his balance and almost fall. The neighbor said that because of his age, declining health and physical disabilities, he felt he should arm himself. He told the defendant to leave his property or he would shoot him. The defendant left and returned, with a Rottweiler.

After the neighbor’s wife and another neighbor were also interviewed, the neighbor was released from custody and the defendant was arrested.

The defendant has a history of prior convictions that include: aggravated assault on a peace officer with a motor vehicle, aggravated flight from an officer, resisting an officer with force or violence, possession with the intent to distribute marijuana, battery of a police officer, aggravated assault, and multiple simple possession of drugs charges. 

Sentencing is scheduled for March 7, 2023 and the defendant faces 20 years to life at hard labor.

The case was presided over by District Judge Scott Gardner and presented by Assistant District Attorneys Blake Peters and Allie Serpas.