Carjacking duo from 2013 face additional charges

Carjacking duo from 2013 face additional charges

Arrested on capital murder charges in Jefferson County in June 2013, alleged conspirators Jonathan Demond Patton and River Shynette Gobert are now facing federal charges in a case that started as a carjacking crime and ended in murder. 

According to information from the Beaumont Police Department, 19-year-old Gobert and 23-year-old Patton embarked on a crime spree that began sometime around 3 a.m. Sunday, June 23, 2013, when officers were dispatched to a reported aggravated robbery at a laundromat located in the 500 block of W. Florida Ave.

During the aggravated robbery, the male victim told police, he was accosted by two men who confronted him as he was cleaning the washateria. Victim testimony further contends that the suspects attempted to rob him of his car keys. When the victim did not comply with the robbery attempt, one of the suspects shot him with a handgun, he said. The two robbers then fled in a dark colored SUV. The victim suffered a minor injury to his lower body. 

A short time later, Beaumont police say that a patrol officer saw a dark colored SUV occupied by two males in the 2800 block of Orange Street. The officer attempted to stop the SUV, but the driver refused to pull over. After a brief vehicle pursuit, the occupants of the SUV abandoned the vehicle and fled on foot. Officers were able catch one subject — later identified as Gobert, who was immediately taken into custody for evading detention.  

Officers then located a handgun inside the SUV and ramped up their investigation into Gobert and what connection, if any, he had to the wounded washateria victim. As the officers were continuing their investigation into the aggravated robbery attempt at the Florida Avenue laundromat, the police department received a call that led them to believe the laudromat violence was not the only crime the two suspects were guilty of committing that day.

Beaumont police report that residents located what was believed to be a second victim of the two male suspects. In the second call for police intervention, the victim was not only shot, the victim was in critical condition, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds.

The second victim, 30-year-old Daryl Dwayne Fontenot, was found in the parking lot of an apartment complex in the 900 block of Woodrow. Fontenot later died as a result of his injuries at.  

Detectives said that an interview with Gobert led them to determine that Gobert was involved in both the original aggravated robbery attempt on West Florida and the murder of Fontenot on Woodrow. It would take even further investigation to reveal the identity of Gobert’s accomplice, Jonathan Demond Patton, a 23-year-old Beaumont resident.  

“Detectives interviewed Patton and were able to corroborate his involvement in both incidents,” BPD officer Rob Flores reported upon the suspects’ arrest. “We believe Fontenot’s murder occurred shortly after the previous aggravated robbery attempt on West Florida.”

Gobert and Patton were booked into the Jefferson County Jail, each with $1 million bonds for charges of capital murder, but those charges were later rejected by the prosecutor on Sept. 25, 2013. Both later pleaded guilty to reduced charges. Patton pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and aggravated robbery on Nov. 12, 2013, and received 10 years  in prison. Gobert pleaded guilty to charges on Feb. 10, 2014, and received seven years in prison.

Charges were picked up by the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas, with a three-count grand jury indictment issued for both Gobert and Patton on March 5, 2015. In the federal case, each named defendant is charged with conspiracy to commit carjacking, punishable by imprisonment up to five years, probation, and/or a quarter-million-dollar fine; carjacking resulting in death, punishable by a quarter-million-dollar fine, up to life in prison, and/or the death penalty; and possession and discharge of a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence resulting in death, punishable by a quarter-million-dollar fine, up to life in prison, and/or the death penalty.

Federal prosecutors intend to prove, according to the indictment, that both defendants “did willfully and knowingly conspire with each other and other persons known and unknown to the grand jury, to knowingly and intentionally take a motor vehicle… from the person and presence of another, by force and violence and intimidation, with intent to cause death and serious bodily harm.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney John Ross is assigned to prosecute the case.


Jennifer Johnson can be reached at (409) 832-1400, ext. 231, or by e-mail at jennifer [at] theexaminer [dot] com.