Update: 2nd teenager, also 15, arrested following Reserve woman’s fatal shooting
RESERVE — Last week’s shocking killing of a Reserve woman in her front yard has continued to confound the community and occupy police attention.
After initially indicating only one suspect was implicated in the Feb. 6 killing of 47-year-old Rechelle Hotard, St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office detectives arrested a second 15-year-old male suspect on Friday, charging him with second degree murder and two misdemeanor drug charges.
It is unclear if the drug charges are related to the murder investigation.
As it stands, the 15-year-old Reserve male arrested Feb. 6, within 12 hours of the killing, is charged with second degree murder. He is being housed without bond at the Terrebonne Parish Juvenile Center, police said.
The 15-year-old LaPlace male arrested Friday is being held without bond at Rivarde Juvenile Detention Center in Harvey.
On Monday, St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff Mike Tregre left open the possibility that more arrests could be forthcoming, noting the investigation remains active.
After police indicated they believe the teenager arrested Feb. 6 was the suspected shooter, authorities were more close lipped this week about what role they believe the suspect arrested Friday played in the killing
“He has been identified as being involved,” Tregre said.
As of press time, police have not released a potential motive for the killing.
Neither names of the suspects will be released because they are minors, Tregre said, adding a decision on to pursue convictions as adults or minors would be made by the St. John District Attorney’s Office.
The Sheriff’s Office says detectives developed the second 15-year-old as a suspect based on their investigation.
It was at approximately 1 a.m. Feb. 6 on West 17th Street in Reserve when neighbors heard a scream and several gunshots, as many as four or more.
St. John Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies quickly responded, finding Hotard unresponsive on the ground in front of the home she owned.
She was shot multiple times in the abdomen by what authorities believe was a handgun.
Hotard passed away quickly due to injuries suffered from the gunfire, police said, noting the coroner’s office pronounced the victim deceased on the scene.
A 15-year-old male Reserve resident who lived one block over was in custody, charged with second degree murder, police said later that day.
Neighbors said the first suspect was known in the community for vandalism and theft, though the level of violence that played out surprised many. One neighbor who spoke with L’OBSERVATEUR said the suspect’s repeated mayhem was reported on numerous occasions to local police to no avail.
According to police, the victim and first suspect knew each other, but community members say there was nothing significant to the individuals’ previous interactions.
Police said no one was at the house besides the victim when they arrived.
The victim is the sister of St. John Parish Division B Councilwoman at Large Jaclyn Hotard.
Anyone with information about the killing is asked to call Crimestoppers at 504-822-1111, the TIPS line at 985-359-TIPS, Criminal Investigations Division at 985-359-8775 or dispatch at 985-652-6338.
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