22jdda 09292022

District Attorney Warren Montgomery reports that on Wednesday, September 28, 2022, Reyhane Tyrone McKnight, age 35 of Slidell, Louisiana, was found guilty by a unanimous 12-person jury of armed robbery with a firearm and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. McKnight was previously found guilty in 2019 by a non-unanimous jury but had to be re-tried pursuant to the 2020 Supreme Court Ramos decision.

On October 8, 2017 the defendant, masked and armed with a handgun, entered a Slidell gas station. The defendant approached the register and demanded money from the clerk, telling her, “open it, open it or I’ll kill you.” After obtaining $181 from the clerk, the defendant fled the scene.

Detectives identified McKnight as a suspect through a witness who encountered and recognized McKnight as he was leaving the store. After locating the defendant and searching his home, investigators found a pair of muddy shoes that appeared identical to the ones seen on surveillance video at the gas station. Additionally, a gun was found under his roommate’s pillow that appeared similar to the one used in the robbery. The defendant was apprehended four days after the robbery, a few blocks from his residence, wearing the same American flag underwear that were visible in the surveillance video.

At trial, the witness who encountered the defendant leaving the gas station testified. Also, the defendant’s roommate was called to testify and said that the defendant told him he had used his gun to “hit a lick.”

Defense attempted to prove a conspiracy that the defendant was framed by his roommate and that police investigators had manipulated evidence and witnesses to support the roommate’s efforts.

During closing arguments, ADA Elizabeth Authement addressed the jury, “He simply doesn’t have a defense. In St. Tammany, we will not accept people on our streets committing these crimes.”

District Judge Reginald T. Badeaux III presided over the trial. Assistant District Attorneys Elizabeth Authement and Brandi Dohre prosecuted the case. Timothy Crabtree, formally of the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office handled the investigation.

Sentencing is set for October 26, 2022. McKnight has previous convictions, including simple robbery, possession of heroin and attempted distribution of cocaine.

D.A. Montgomery stated, “This case is confirmation that the guilty verdict returned in 2019 by a non-unanimous jury was a just verdict.”

Recommended for you