A Ouachita Parish jury on Saturday find a Monroe man guilty of manslaughter for shooting and killing JonMark Miletello during an apparent drug deal that went sour in Treasure Island in May 2019.
The trial for Jonathan Michael Hogg, 19, of Monroe, began May 17 at the Ouachita Parish Courthouse and wrapped up May 29.
Hogg was arrested in May 2019 for killing Miletello as well as for shooting and injuring D’veil Freeman Jr. at the Treasure Island home where Hogg lived with his mother, Vicki. Miletello and Freeman had visited Hogg’s home in a dispute over money owed for drugs, investigators said.
According to court records, Miletello sent a text message to Hogg about visiting the Hoggs’ Fortune Drive home with a few friends. After they arrived, a fight broke out. Another person at the gathering, Zachary “Zack” Stuart Filhiol, drew a gun, which Hogg secured and allegedly used in firing at the two victims, investigators determined.
Miletello and Freeman were shot while trying to flee.
The state Attorney General’s office, which prosecuted Hogg, sought a conviction for second-degree murder, but the jury did not find enough evidence to support the charge.
Instead, the jury returned the lesser responsive verdict of manslaughter. Second-degree murder carries a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment, but the sentence for manslaughter is up to 40 years in prison, a range to be determined by the court at sentencing.
Fourth Judicial District Court Judge Larry Jefferson, of Monroe, presided over the Hogg trial and has ordered a pre-sentence investigation in advance of sentencing.
“He was not convicted of murder, which is a good thing,” said West Monroe attorney Ronald “Ronnie” Cook, of his client, Hogg. “We’re taking a look at it, evaluating it and seeing what direction we’ll go next. We still have sentencing. We’ll go forward from there.”
Besides Cook, West Monroe attorney Richard Fewell Jr. also represented Hogg at trial.
A pre-sentence investigation, or PSI, report contains research by authorities pertaining to a defendant’s education, employment and other background matters as well as any extenuating circumstances surrounding the crime.
“The court will go through the PSI and perform his due diligence in preparation for sentencing,” Cook said.
Sentencing is set for July 27.
Assistant Attorney General Madeleine Slaughter-Young, who handled the prosecution on behalf of state Attorney General Jeff Landry’s office, declined to comment and referred the newspaper to the AG’s communications office.
On Thursday, Attorney General Jeff Landry issued a statement concerning the jury's verdict.
“I commend my Assistant Attorney General Madeleine Slaughter-Young for her exceptional prosecutorial work to convict Jonathan Hogg," Landry said. "I pray the jury’s decision will bring some comfort to the victim’s family.”
Stacy Rutledge, whose son, Miletello, died in the May 2019 incident, also declined to comment.
Beyond manslaughter, the jury also found Hogg guilty of possession of a Schedule II drug with intent, possession of a Schedule I drug, and aggravated battery.
In lieu of placing Hogg in prison pending sentencing, Jefferson set bail on the four criminal charges at a total of $108,250. Hogg posted bail earlier this week.
In June 2019, months after Jefferson allowed Hogg to post bail on the second-degree murder arrest charge, Hogg was arrested for carrying 2.32 grams of cocaine and 30.40 grams of marijuana. Jefferson refused to revoke bond at that time, too.
Rutledge and Mark Miletello are currently pursuing a wrongful death lawsuit in Fourth Judicial District Court and seeking damages from the Hoggs.
In their lawsuit, Rutledge and Mark Miletello claimed Jonathan and Vicki Hogg waited several minutes before notifying authorities that their son had been shot.
As previously reported by The Ouachita Citizen, court documents in State of Louisiana v. Jonathan Michael Hogg indicated Hogg had marijuana at his home before the shooting. Ouachita Parish sheriff’s investigator Miranda Rogers also received an anonymous tip that Hogg had received LSD, or acid, the weekend of the shooting.
Jonathan and Vicki Hogg removed all the drugs from the home before notifying authorities, according to Rogers’ report.