Reward boosted for suspect

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 5, 2004

By LEONARD GRAY – Managing Editor

LAPLACE – The reward for information on the Oct. 26 murder of Eugene Maxent has been boosted by his surviving family from $1,000 to $5,000.

A spokesman for the family, who asked not to be identified, commented, “The family decided to increase it to appeal for someone to come forth with some information.”

Maxent, 47, was discovered shot dead Oct. 26 in the 200 block of Fir Street, tangled in the bicycle he had been riding.

This was one of three homicides during 2003, and the only unsolved one.

Originally, the St. John Parish Sheriff’s Office publicized a $1,000 reward to prompt an informant to come forward with information leading to the conviction of whoever shot and killed Maxent.

However, with no solid leads forthcoming, family members agreed to boost the reward. “This just may be the push for someone to come forward,” the spokesman said.

On Tuesday, as family members gathered to remember Maxent on the occasion of his 48th birthday, it was felt increasing the reward may spark information.

Instead of a cake and presents,therefore, family members visited the place where he was shot, placing a wreath, and also at his gravesite.

They then contributed to a $4,000 addition to the sheriff’s reward. “It’s been a really rough week,” the spokesman added.

The other two 2003 homicide cases are already cleared.

In the case of Michelle Greenup’s newborn son, her trial is awaiting a court date.

In the case of Gregory Joseph, his 17-year-old assailant entered a plea in juvenile court on Dec. 9 to a charge of manslaughter.

This leaves the Maxent case at a standstill, with no arrests or even viable suspects at this point, according to Capt. Michael Tregre.

“I do feel in my heart that someone knows exactly what happened,” the spokesman continued.

“We do want to get Gene’s murderer off the street,” the spokesman said. “He did not deserve to die that way.”