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Suspect in 23
south Louisiana deaths lured victims by promising sex

Suspect in 23
south Louisiana deaths lured victims by promising sex

A Louisiana man who allegedly confessed to murdering 23 men pleaded not guilty on Tuesday to nine counts of first-degree murder, charges that carry a possible death sentence. Ronald Dominique was rolled into the courtroom in a wheelchair. He mumbled "not guilty" to each count as his sister and other relatives looked on along with family members of some of his alleged victims. The nine charges stem from the rape and murders of nine men between 2002 and 2005 in Terrebonne Parish. The other 12 men were allegedly killed in other parts of the state and charges are being handled by authorities in the various other parishes. Dominique, 42, has allegedly confessed to 23 murders of men from 1997 to 2005. Victims were found in ditches, sugar cane fields, and other remote locations in southeastern Louisiana. He was arrested at a homeless shelter in December. Initially booked with two murders, he eventually was indicted on nine and during interrogation confessed to 23, authorities have said. Dominique, who has a heart condition, allegedly enticed victims with offers of money for gay sex, or in some cases by offering his "wife" for heterosexual encounters, authorities said. He showed the men a picture of a woman, but he is not married. In addition to the nine charges in Terrebonne, Dominique was also arrested in connection with two bodies found in the New Orleans suburb of Jefferson Parish. But local authorities have said they lack the necessary evidence to hold him in connection with those cases and it remains unclear if or when he will be charged in connection with the death of the two men. Terrebonne District Attorney Joe Waitz said he is trying to schedule meetings with prosecutors in other districts to discuss how to proceed with other possible cases. Dominique's public defender, Anthony Champagne, declined comment. (Mary Foster, AP)

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