DA announces jury trial conviction in escape case, additional charges expected

District Attorney Billy Joe Harrington accounted the jury trial conviction in an escape case on March 29.

Kenneth Hardy, 33 of Natchitoches, was convicted of simple escape during a two-day in the 10th Judicial District Court. In June 2022, Hardy was in custody at the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center when he escaped from a secure area within the facility, but was apprehended when he was hindered by razor wire security fencing when he attempted to climb over the fence.

During trial testimony, Hardy testified the reason for his escape was to seek medical attention. However, evidence was presented in the trial that Hardy intentionally left the area with the intent to escape, resulting in the conviction.

District Court Judge Desiree Dyess presided over the trial and set a sentencing date for April 27.

Hardy has numerous felony convictions including two previous escape convictions, two illegal narcotics convictions and an illegal weapons conviction. As a result of the previous felonies and the current escape conviction, District Attorney Harrington announced his intention to file a habitual offender charge against Hardy. An additional court hearing will be scheduled for the matter at a later date.

In addition to the completion of the trial yesterday, Hardy is accused of briefly fleeing custody while being transported from the courthouse to the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center. He was quickly captured and was arrested on a new charge of simple escape. An arraignment date for the charge will be April 27.

First Assistant District Attorney Cloyd Benjamin, Jr. and Assistant District Bray Williams prosecuted the case.