Accused St. Rose killer escapes indictment

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 15, 2009


HAHNVILLE — A St. Rose man accused of two separate murders in St. Charles Parish escaped indictment for both crimes last month after a grand jury rejected some of the evidence against him.

According to the parish’s legal journal, the grand jury issued two no true bills in homicide cases involving 19-year-old Donald Harris Jr. Authorities believe Harris shot and killed 70-year-old Hilda Warren in her home in August 2007 and also say that he gunned down 26-year-old Deshawn Davis in an open field on Fourth Street in November of 2008.

Sheriff Greg Champagne said in a statement that detectives believe Harris is the killer in both cases and the investigation into both murders is still ongoing. Harris remains incarcerated in St. Charles and is being held in connection with an unrelated armed robbery

“We are working closely the District Attorney’s Office to make this a viable case,” Champagne said in the statement. “We are seeking assistance from anyone who may have information regarding these two senseless murders.”

Harris turned himself in to authorities in Tangipahoa following a 26-hour manhunt that began after Davis was killed in November of last year. A report from the Sheriff’s Office said the two men were involved in a bar fight before the shooting took place.

Family members found Warren, a retired custodian in the St. Charles School system that often took care of people from her St. Rose residence, unresponsive inside her home back in August of 2007. She had suffered a single gunshot wound behind the ear. Nothing appeared to be missing from her home after the homicide.