Thursday, January 24, 2013

Standoff details emerge: Family members of Dean Hart Jr. at scene

New details are emerging about the negotiations bet the Monroe Police Department and Dean Hart Jr., a gunman who is barricaded alone inside his home in the Louisianne subdivision.

Sgt. Mark Johnson with the Monroe Police Department said police believe Dean Hart Jr. is heavily armed and has at least one assault rifle. However, he has not made any threats or demands.

“He doesn’t want to come out because he doesn’t want to go to jail. That’s all he said about it.” Johnson said.

Dean Hart Jr. has been holding police at bay from a house in a Monroe subdivision since Monday morning. Johnson said Dean Hart Jr. has several pending felony charges, including assault, kidnapping and attempted homicide.

Johnson said there are no immediate plans to try enter the building.

“That’s the last thing we’re going to do unless we have no other choice,” Johnson said
“Time is working for us. If he was holding a hostage, that would change the equation, but it’s just him.”

The investigation began about 7 a.m. after police received a call from the hospital where the victim was treated. The woman, described by Monroe Police Detective Reggie Brown as Dean Hart Jr.’s wife, said she had been kidnapped and assaulted throughout the weekend She was able to escape and made it to the hospital, where she was treated and reported the incident. She has been released from the hospital and is staying with relatives out of town.

Police resumed negotiations about 7:35 p.m. after Dean Hart Jr. and relatives at the scene took a break to recharge their cellphones.

Johnson said the family was brought into the command center during the break to ensure protocols were clearly communicated. The SWAT team negotiator and the family then returned to the scene.
Around 6:45 p.m. two members of Dean Hart Jr.’s family stormed out of the command center, screaming police had lied to them.

Johnson said the relatives, a man and woman, had broken protocol at the scene. He said the two, one of whom reporters believe to be Dean Hart Jr.’s mother, were told they could speak with Dean Hart Jr.

When Dean Hart Jr. came to the door, Johnson said the family members, a man and woman, ran toward the house and were detained by police to avoid the potential of a hostage situation. Johnson said he believes they may have misunderstood police instructions.

Dean Hart Sr. died in a January plane crash. He owned Hart Commercial Investments with his son and was one of the passengers on the Beechcraft Bonanza airplane that crashed near Ouachita Correctional Center, killing four.

An investigation of the younger Hart started over the weekend. The probe continued into Monday morning. During the day, police discovered Dean Hart Jr. was inside the home.

Police have said no one’s life has been threatened and Dean Hart Jr. has said he would harm himself. The family member who identified Dean Hart Jr. said he’s had trouble coping since his father’s death.
Shortly before 5 p.m. Monday, Hart’s mother was seen talking with police.

Stay with and Tuesday’s edition of The News-Star for more on this story.


Beechcraft A36 Bonanza, Central Flying Service Inc., N980SS: Accident occurred January 24, 2013 in Richwood, Louisiana

NTSB Identification: CEN13FA143 
Nonscheduled 14 CFR Part 91 Subpart K: Fractional
Accident occurred Thursday, January 24, 2013 in Richwood, LA
Aircraft: RAYTHEON AIRCRAFT COMPANY A36, registration: N980SS
Injuries: 4 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On January 24, 2013, about 1345 central standard time, a Raytheon Aircraft Company (RAC) A-36 Bonanza, N980SS, impacted trees and terrain in a wooded area near Richwood, Louisiana, while on an instrument approach for landing at the Monroe Regional Airport (KMLU), Monroe, Louisiana. The commercial pilot and three passengers were fatally injured. The airplane was destroyed by the impact and a post-crash fire. The airplane was registered to, and operated by Central Flying Services, Inc., under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, Subpart K as a fractional ownership personal flight. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed, and an instrument flight rules flight plan had been filed. The flight originated from Beaumont Municipal Airport (KBMT), Beaumont, Texas, at 1225, and was destined for KMLU.

KMLU’s air traffic control tower supervisor said that the first contact with the airplane was about 1330 and the accident happened at 1349. He said the airplane came in from the south at 7,000 feet mean sea level (msl). When the airplane was about 33 miles from the airport, the local controller gave the pilot instructions to turn left 15 degrees to intercept the localizer to runway 4 and descend to 2,000 feet msl. The airplane made the turn to intercept the localizer but overshot the inbound course. The airplane was about 2 miles left (north) of course and continuing north when the local controller asked the airplane if he was established on the localizer. The local controller then gave the pilot instructions to turn right 70 degrees to re-intercept the course. The airplane turned onto the localizer. At 4 miles from SABAR, the outer marker and glide slope intercept point for the approach; the pilot was cleared to contact the tower. When the pilot did so, the controller cleared the pilot to land runway 4.

When the pilot told the controller that he was at 3,000 feet, landing clearance was canceled and the controller issued missed approach instructions. Radar data indicates the airplane made a tight right turn to the south. The airplane was at 1,600 feet and 211 knots. The airplane climbed to 1,900 feet, then descended and disappeared from radar. At that time, the airplane was in a tight descending right turn at 1,600 feet and 2 miles inside SABAR at an indicated ground speed of 210 knots. A short time later, witnesses saw the airplane descending almost vertically at a high rate of speed just prior to losing sight of the airplane in the trees and hearing the impact trees and terrain.

  Regis#: 980SS        Make/Model: BE36      Description: 36 Bonanza
  Date: 01/24/2013     Time: 1957

  Event Type: Accident   Highest Injury: Fatal     Mid Air: N    Missing: N
  Damage: Destroyed

  City: MONROE   State: LA   Country: US


INJURY DATA      Total Fatal:   2
                 # Crew:   1     Fat:   1     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    
                 # Pass:   1     Fat:   1     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    
                 # Grnd:         Fat:   0     Ser:   0     Min:   0     Unk:    

  Activity: Unknown      Phase: Approach      Operation: OTHER

  FAA FSDO: BATON ROUGE, LA  (SW03)               Entry date: 01/25/2013 

Obituary Dean L. Hart, Sr.

Mr. Dean L. Hart, Sr. 66, of Monroe LA, passed away on Thursday, January 24, 2013.

Dean Sr., was born October 17, 1946 in Monroe LA to the union of John and Lois Hart.

He married “his high school sweetheart and love of his life” Melissa Ann Hanks on June 30, 1967.
Dean’s career started with his first job, at the age of 16, during his high-school years, working for Fred Parrish Texaco Station on the corner of Louisville Ave and 18th Street in Monroe LA. He took this job to support his ailing mother and grandmother. Mrs. Parrish was so very good to Deanny and taught him many life lessons. After starting college, at Northeast Louisiana University, Deanny realized he would have to leave his comfort zone and regrettably, Mrs. Parrish.

Back then, you didn’t have a career choice. You applied for a job, if you got it, well then this was your career. Dean took a job at Goodyear Tire and Appliance Store. By his third year he had been promoted to the highest position, store manager. After that, he set nationwide records for top producing stores and he held these honors for two straight years. These records still hold today.

After accomplishing his goals with Goodyear, he took a big leap of faith and in 1973 he opened Dean Hart’s Tire and Appliance. This started his love for “being his own boss”. At this time he found a love for real estate developing and became an expert builder. His first development was building-out a whole corner which included a restaurant, a beauty shop, a trophy store, and Dean Hart’s Tire and Appliances. When asked why, he always said, “To keep ‘em all here in West Monroe and to help the ladies have their needs met. While they are having their children’s trophies engraved, they can exercise, then have their hair fixed and be fresh to go out to eat”. During this span, he won many awards and was recognized nationally for his accomplishments. His motto was “build it and they will come”. Dean sold his tire and appliance store in 1980 and shifted his energy and talent into commercial real estate and commercial construction. He coined the motto “one stop shopping for all real estate and construction services.”

Dean’s first love in business was the ‘art of making a deal’. From designing and constructing a distribution center for a major company like FedEx Corporation or a local office building, he loved putting people in new buildings and loved creating jobs. He had an eye for spotting a diamond in the rough and for turning raw land or an older existing building into Class A real estate. He always said “God don’t make no more land.”

Dean’s family always came first. He had a passion for his hobbies which included competition trap shooting. He had a great appreciation for history and artifacts related to history and historical events.

Dean always said he came into this life holding Ann’s hand in one hand and a social security card in the other. Dean died doing what he loved, which was working. He had just finalized a Real Estate deal and was so excited that he had put that deal to bed and was ready to move on to the next “new deal.”

Dean was preceded in death by his parents John Hart and Lois Hart, mother-in-law Marion Hanks, father-in-law A.D. Hanks, his beloved sister-in-law Bunny Wallace, and his brother Johnny Lenard.

Dean is survived by his wife of 44 years and the love of his life Ann Hanks Hart, and their Precious Shih Tzu Kassie Girl Sassie Hart. A rare find, they started dating at the age of 16 and never looked back. He is also survived by his sons, Dean L. Hart, Jr. and Cory Hanks Hart. Granddaughters Lily Arianna Hart, Caroline Kay Hart and Laura Melissa Centola. Niece and nephews Laura Liner Centola and husband Lyle, James Conway Liner, IV and wife Leah and Jeffery Hanks Liner. Great nephews James Conway Liner, V and L. Jordan Centola.

Pallbearers are Dr. Ronnie Woods, Jerry ‘Jeep’ Sanders, Billy R. Golson, Raymond Stewart, W.B. ‘Bill” Nelson, Jr., and William H. Hallack, Jr.

Honorary pallbearers are the members of the T. O. Bancroft Memorial Gun Club, Board of Directors and employees of Community Trust Bank, all employees, subcontractors, vendors and building tenants of all Hart Affiliated Companies.

Memorials may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or to the First United Methodist Church of West Monroe for the Dean Hart Fund for the Louisiana Methodist Children’s Home, 1411 Glenwood Drive, West Monroe, LA 71291. Memorials may also be made to the charity of your choice and to the T.O. Bancroft Memorial Gun Club.

Visitation will be held Friday, February 1, 2013 from 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM at First United Methodist Church on Glenwood Drive in West Monroe LA.

A private burial will be held on Saturday, February 2, 2013 with Rev. Jon Tellifero and Rev. Ricky Willis officiating under the direction of Mulhearn Funeral Home West Monroe, LA.

Online Registry/ Condolences:

Mulhearn Funeral Home

West Monroe, LA

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Dean Hart Jr. talks with police near the scene of a plane crash in January. His father Dean Hart Sr. of West Monroe was one of the passengers on the Beechcraft Bonanza airplane that crashed near Ouachita Correctional Center. The younger Hart is involved in an armed standoff with police on Monday.

RICHWOOD, La. (KNOE 8 News) - A command center for law enforcement was set up shortly after neighbors heard a loud boom and saw a single engine plane spiraling out of the sky. The center stands a few hundred yards away from the crash site. 

 The remote location of crash site, standing water and muddy conditions, have made it difficult for crews to move in and out. "It makes it cumbersome for those that are actually the removal and the security of the scene," said Ouachita Parish Sheriff Jay Russell. But with boots and all terrain vehicles, the crews are working around the difficult conditions. The coroner and Ouachita Parish Fire Department spent much of Friday recovering the bodies of the victims. The Ouachita Parish Sheriff's department is in charge of security for the area.

Sheriff Jay Russell says his officers are ensuring those working, will be able to do it in a safe and secure manner. "The main thing for us to make sure that people that are not supposed to be in the area are not there, and the people that live in the area are not more inconvenienced than they have to be," said Russell.

The men and women of the sheriffs department have been working around the clock and Sheriff Russell says some have even volunteered to stay longer, "They are doing well, we're funneling water and food to them and they are doing really well. I'm really proud of them they've done a real good job since this incident has happened," said Russell.

The NTSB arrived on scene Friday afternoon from Denver, Colorado, beginning the investigation that will determine what caused the plane to crash.

Photo Courtesy:   Mike Motley 
Mason Mauldin

LITTLE ROCK (KTHV) -- The Little Rock band scene hit a somber note Friday as musicians and fans mourned the loss of Mason Mauldin. He died in a plane crash Thursday in Monroe, Louisiana. 

THV 11 News heard a great sense of loss about Mason Mauldin, but there is also a lot of praise from the Little Rock music community. It's a tight-knit group here with Mauldin standing out as a "cool" front-man with a passion for both writing and performing.

"I knew Mason working with the label I run Max Recordings. I put out a couple of records by his band Sugar in the Raw," Burt Taggart said. 

Taggart knew Mason Mauldin for about ten years, and over that time enjoyed a "front-man" both on and off stage. 

"He was open and excited to be doing it and was up for the challenge of coordinating all these elements," Taggart said. 

Mauldin was someone who truly cared about the process, and when it came time to sing, "He's not Mick Jagger or anything like that, but he's a cool guy. Cool guys in the crowd thought he was cool, you know what I mean," Taggart said. 

Over the years, Mauldin and his bands performed at places like Stickyz in the River Market. It turns out he was actually supposed to take the stage there Thursday night as part of the Arkansas Times Showcase. That never happened after a fatal charter plane crash Thursday in Monroe, Louisiana; Mauldin was the pilot. 

"Just a total shock that the music community has lost such a well-liked and vibrant young guy like him," said Jim Harris, a former entertainment editor for the Arkansas Times. "I really thought he kind of had it, a kind of magic about him, just the way he looked on stage, how he acted on stage, you couldn't really copy it." 

Harris spent some time Friday listening to Mauldin's music and so did Taggart. 

"It had been a while since I listened to those records but I'm real honored to be a part of it," Taggart said. 

Mauldin was in the band Big Boots as well and most recently Colin Vs. Adam. 

He was also a flight instructor for Central Flying Services in Little Rock and was with that company during Thursday's crash. The NTSB is still investigating went wrong but we do know the plane originated in Little Rock and was traveling from Beaumont, Texas to Monroe. 

Another one of the plane crash victims was from Little Rock. He is Don Thompson, a Regional Sales Manager for Bumper to Bumper, the parent company of Replacement Parts, in Little Rock.


 Monroe Plane crash day 2: Update on a plane crash that occurred Thursday in a wooded area behind Ouachita Correctional Center in Richwood that took the life of four on board. 

Dean Hart Jr. talks with police Thursday near the scene of a plane crash in Richwood in northeast Louisiana. His father, Dean Hart Sr. of West Monroe, was one of the passengers on the Beechcraft A36 Bonanza that crashed near Ouachita Correctional Center, a family member confirmed. 
Photo Credit:  Dacia Idom / The News-Star

Ouachita Parish Sheriff Jay Russell provides details of a Beechcraft A36 Bonanza crash near the Ouachita Correctional Center on Thursday. 
Photo Credit:  Louisiana Gannett

Smoke rises from the crash of a Beechcraft A36 Bonanza near Murray and Brown streets in Richwood on Thursday.
Dacia Idom/The News-Star

by KNOE Victoria Shirley

 by KNOE Victoria Shirley

by KNOE Victoria Shirley


MONROE, La. -- Four people, including three from northeastern Louisiana, died Thursday afternoon in an airplane crash in the woods behind Ouachita Correctional Center in Richwood.

Dean Hart Sr. of West Monroe, owner of Hart Commercial Investments, and Max Larche of Bastrop, an engineer with Lazenby & Associates in West Monroe, were two of the passengers killed.

A third local man, Don Thompson of Monroe, was also listed on the passenger manifest. None of the victims have officially been identified.

Officials began to remove remains from the crash late Thursday but suspended the operation at dark until first light Friday morning.

The cause of the crash hasn’t been determined.

Police said the Beechcraft A36 Bonanza bearing the tail number N980SS radioed in for landing at Monroe Regional Airport at about 1:45 p.m. The airport lost contact with the plane about 1:49 p.m.

The airplane was owned by Central Flying Service, Inc. of Little Rock. It was arriving at Monroe from Beaumont, Texas, where Hart and Larche had attended a business meeting.

A stream of emergency vehicles raced along U.S. Highway 165 South toward Richwood at about 2 p.m. as smoke rose from an area off the road and to the east. 

The gray smoke blended with the clouds while rescue, fire and police personnel struggled to get to the scene of the accident, trying to determine what side road would get them nearest the scene.

Some turned down Dellwood Drive while a stream of curious onlookers fell in behind. Off Dellwood and behind the woods, firefighters in full gear roamed through the brush and trees. 

“It’s about 2,000 yards that way,” one said. “You’re better off to go around to the other side of OCC and back down Richwood Road No. 1.”

Meanwhile, south of OCC, police vehicles trailed down Brown Street, between the woods and the jail, securing the area while residents gathered outside. 

Tony Colman of Richwood said he saw the plane and heard it making strange sounds. 

“We were standing around the burning fire, just sitting out there ... then my niece said, ‘Oooohhh, y’all look at that plane, it sounds like it’s fixin’ to crash,’ then I heard ‘whooom, whooom, whooom,’ then all of a sudden boom, big ole smoke, so everybody jumped in their cars and took off,” he said. 

 Colman said everything happened so quickly he couldn’t remember what the plane looked like, but he knew what he did next. 

“At first everybody went over there to Pine Bayou, but it was really right over here in the town of Richwood,” he said. “I went down to the mobile building place where the chief of police is at to let him know a plane had crashed out here.”

Police restricted access on Brown Street, requiring residents to show identification before letting them return home beyond the established perimeter. 

Meanwhile, official vehicles from several municipalities along with fire trucks and vehicles carrying ATVs went past police barricades. Occupants of the vehicles got out, leaving Brown and Shannon streets and heading into the densely wooded area. 

Ouachita Parish Sheriff Jay Russell said firefighters used ATVs to get to the scene, fighting the fire with extinguishers instead of hoses because of the remote location.

Russell said Ouachita Correctional Center workers’ accounts of the crash included an explosion. 

“They said they heard the plane sputter, then the next thing they saw was a nose dive,” Russell said. “They said they saw smoke and they ran to it and tried to render assistance, but there wasn’t much they could do.” 

One law enforcement officer said those who saw the scene described it as horrific. Another said witnesses couldn’t immediately determine the number of occupants because of the severity of the crash.

It’s unknown whether the plane was trying to make an emergency landing.

More than a hour after the crash smoke continued to fill the sky above the trees.

Ouachita Parish Sheriff’s Office officers secured the scene until National Transportation and Safety Board officials arrived.