Murder victim found on Allen Street; two arrested

Deidre Cruse, Governmental Reporter

The Plaquemine City Police have arrested two men in connection with the shooting death of 31-year-old Cordies Gales, whose body was found early Sunday on the side of the road in the 58600 block of Allen Street, Capt. Kenneth Payne reported.

Gales, whose last known address was 58737 Capt. T. T. Harris, Plaquemine, reportedly got into an argument and then a fist fight over a dice game with one of the men arrested in the case, Payne said. He said Gales had been out of state and had been back in Plaquemine for about 24 hours before his murder, the city's first homicide of 2010.

Police did not receive a shots-fired call, but someone found Gales' body and called 911 at 4:28 a.m., Payne said. Police estimated the shooting occurred sometime after 3 a.m.

He said an autopsy showed Gales had been shot through the neck and in the back. A 40-caliber slug was retrieved from the victim's back, but police have not located the gun, the captain said.

Police have charged Benjuiel Johnson 28, of 58687 W. W. Harleaux, on charges of obstruction of justice, principal to second-degree murder, a felon in possession of a firearm and accessory after the fact to second degree murder, he said.

They also charged Shaheed Thompson, 19, of 23715 Calvin Street, Plaquemine, as an accessory after the fact to second-degree murder.

Payne said the case remains under investigation and probably will result in additional charges.

Witnesses have told police the Johnson and the victim got into an argument while gambling at an Allen Street residence in t he same block where Gales' body was discovered, the captain alleged. He said Johnson reportedly produced a weapon, but Gales took from him, ending the argument.

A few minutes later, however, the two men had further words and got into a fight, broken up by other people at the scene, Payne said.

“Witnesses heard gunshots and saw the victim fall and the two suspects charged run from the scene,” the captain said.

Payne said Johnson is suspected as the shooter, since he was the last one in possession of the firearm before the shooting.

The latest murder victim was found a block away from a field where the body of 17-year-old Jamarius D. Riley was found riddled with four gunshots on December 19, Payne said.