Two arrested in Reserve murder investigation

Published 12:00 am Friday, August 5, 2011



LAPLACE – St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s investigators arrested two men Thursday in connection with the June 17 murder of Frank Lewis, one of three men killed over a two month span in Reserve, according to a release from the Sheriff’s Office

Kentell Bailey, 27, and Carlton Brown, 36, were booked into the Sherman Walker Correctional Facility in LaPlace around 8 p.m. Thursday, said Capt. Dane Clement, spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office. Bailey was charged with second-degree murder, while Brown was charged with principal to second-degree murder.

According to a report from the Sheriff’s Office, Lewis, 42, was found shot in the 100 block of East 14th Street around 5:22 a.m. June 17. Investigators said Lewis was leaving his home for work when the shooting took place.

Lewis’ murder was one of three homicides that have occurred in Reserve this year, all of which occurred in the same neighborhood, according to investigators.

The other two happened on May 6, when Jamar Vinnette, 23, was found shot and killed in a ditch in the 100 block of East 13th Street, and May 8, when Eliza Fleming, 29, was found shot to death inside his home in the 200 block of East 23rd Street.

St. John Sheriff Wayne Jones said forensic evidence from the crime scenes has linked the deaths of Vinnette and Fleming. He added that investigators also believe evidence from the third murder could link it to the other two. Jones indicated that signs are pointing to Lewis’ murder being related.

Following Lewis’ murder, Jones announced he had assembled an 11-man task force that would focus on solving the three murders. Jones said the group is made up of experienced officers who are most familiar with the Reserve area where all three murders took place. He said investigators have also been aggressively working with the community to find witnesses or other information pertaining to the murders.

Clement said Brown is being held on a $750,000, while Bailey, who was also booked with drug possession and delinquency of a juvenile charges as a result of a search warrant executed on his home, is being held on a $1.03 million bond.

Clement said the investigation is ongoing and added that Sheriff Jones will hold a press conference Monday to discuss the arrests and the task force.

Anyone with additional information regarding this investigation is encouraged to call St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office Detectives at 985-359-8769 or Crimestoppers at 504-822-1111.