A pastor’s wife is dead after New Orleans police and family members say she was run over by her own vehicle in a carjacking outside of her daughter’s home.
Three teens have since been arrested in the Nov. 27 incident, according to a police news release, and face charges that include second-degree murder.
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Jeannot Franco Plessy, 49, founded the Crossover Christian Fellowship outreach ministry — which helps the homeless and other vulnerable people — along with her husband, pastor David Plessy. She was a survivor of domestic abuse from a prior relationship, and before she was killed, she had recently returned from an evangelical trip to Samoa timed to domestic violence awareness month on the island, reports The Times-Picayune.
She had pulled up to the home of her eldest daughter from a previous relationship around 8:25 p.m. with the intent to pick up the two children she had with David, an 11-year-old girl and 12-year-old boy, when she was attacked, David told the newspaper.
Police say she was pulled from the car and thrown to the ground. Her son-in-law tried to intervene when an alleged carjacker threw the vehicle into reverse and ran Plessy over.
Plessy died later at a hospital from her injuries, police said.
“Such tragedies cause us to … wonder, ‘Why do such tragedies happen to good and godly people in our world?,” said a statement on the website of Celebration Church, which her daughter and son-in-law attend, according to The Advocate newspaper. “Most of the time, there are no answers to that question.”
The statement further described Plessy as “a great woman of God.”
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“When my wife was killed, I prayed, my children prayed,” David Plessy told WWL-TV. “By the next morning I forgot how to pray.”
He has retained his strength through faith, he said.
“One inclination would be to scream out for justice and scream out of anger, and perhaps that’s a stage of my grief that’s in front of me,” he told the TV station. “But I know my wife has never failed to forgive anyone who has hurt her.”
On Saturday police announced the arrests of 17-year-old Jontrell Robinson, 18-year-old Edwin Cottrell, and a juvenile who was not publicly named.
Robinson was charged with second-degree murder and carjacking, police said. Cottrell and the third suspect both are charged with being a principal to second-degree murder and a principal to carjacking.
An attorney or attorneys for the teens were not identified, and it could not be determined if they had entered pleas to the charges against them.
David Plessy said a recent birthday present from his wife had been a DNA test so he could learn more about his biological family, he told the Times-Picayune. He had grown up as an adopted child. “Because of my wife, I met two sisters and a brother I never knew I had,” he said.
His wife “wasn’t famous,” he told the outlet, but in his estimation, she “was an extremely, extraordinarily special and unique person.”
He also said: “She lived out her life selflessly. She was extremely loving, endlessly caring, unconditionally forgiving.”