Strange Bossier Case Ends With Confession | 3 Investigation
BENTON, La. – A Bossier Parish man has admitted that he, not a neighbor, who has spent five years wrongfully investigated and prosecuted, is responsible for a string of vandalism and Deer camp arson began more than a decade ago.
Gary Wilson’s guilty plea ended the criminal portion of a bizarre case involving dozens of crimes in northwest Benton between 2010 and 2017, primarily targeting deer hunters and camps and for their rental. Deer camps and herds were burned and vandalized, thorns were planted in the streets, dogs were killed and shot at deer hunters’ residences and pickup trucks. Three families living in the area urgently moved out because they were concerned for their safety.
Before it’s over, an innocent man will be prosecuted for years; the initial investigation and prosecution will be discredited; Wilson will go from perceived victim to accused perpetrator; and his wife and son died in what authorities believe to be a joint suicide jump.
Wilson, 58, pleaded guilty in Bossier County Court this week to fraud charges. In a plea deal with prosecutors, he received an eight-year suspended prison sentence and agreed to forfeit $150,000 in cash bonds his father sent him after his arrest.
Of the total, $62,000 will be shared among various victims who suffered property damage as a result of Wilson’s actions. The remainder will be split between the Bossier County District Attorney’s Office and the Bossier Parish Sheriff’s Office for costs related to the investigation and prosecution, District Attorney Schuyler Marvin said.
“Hopefully this will allow those victims to be addressed in their entirety,” Marvin said, adding that he was pleased to be able to make the appeal and resolve the case.
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But not everyone is happy with the deal.
“Todd Phillips and his family were victims of Gary Wilson as well as others, but no compensation has been offered to them,” Phillips’ attorney, Nichole Buckle, said before the district attorney and the sheriff’s department received a portion of the confiscated money.
In an affidavit filed with the court as part of his plea, Wilson, who lives at the end of the street where many vandals have occurred, admitted to causing the arson and property damage. , and gave false clues “to lead to my accusations against others. illegal activities. ”
The wrongly accused neighbor – Todd Phillips, an executive at a manufacturing plant in Shreveport – was cleared up after new Sheriff Bossier investigators were assigned to the case and they concluded. Wilson’s argument must be held accountable.
Phillips filed a wrongful arrest lawsuit alleging the Bossier administration carried out a sketchy investigation and persecuted him for five years. As part of his plea agreement, Wilson agreed to testify in that case, which is pending in federal court.
Wilson and his son, Coty, were arrested in 2018 and charged with conspiracy to torture deer hunters. Coty Wilson was freed when he and his mother, Jennifer, went missing a few days later. Her car was abandoned on Highway 2 across the Red River and their bodies were later found in the river. Authorities said there was a “goodbye” note in the car and they believe the mother and daughter tied themselves up and jumped to their deaths.
Phillips is the chief executive officer of Frymaster, a worldwide supplier of commercial fryers. Eventually, he and his family grew tired of the investigation and moved to Marshall, Texas, where they lived on a horse ranch. Attorney Buckle said Phillips will retire from the company this spring.
Wilson moved into his birth parents’ home in southern Arkansas after his arrest. Marvin said his Louisiana probation will be transferred to Arkansas.
Marvin said a simple battery lawsuit against Wilson’s mother last year for an incident that occurred during a Wilson hearing was dismissed regarding Wilson’s plea.
Wilson’s attorney, Spencer Hays, declined to comment on Wilson’s decision to settle the case and plead guilty.