Benjuiel Johnson indicted in Gales' murder case

Deidre Cruse, Governmental Reporter

An Iberville Parish Grand Jury last week indicted Benjuiel Johnson, 28, of Plaquemine on a second degree murder charge in the shooting death of 31-year-old Cordies Gales, District Attorney Richard J. “Ricky” Ward Jr. announced.

The grand jury also indicted Johnson, of 23720 Ephriam Street, on a charge of a convicted felon possessing a firearm.

The Plaquemine Police initially charged Johnson with principal to second degree murder, felon in possession of a firearm, accessory after the fact to second degree murder and obstruction of justice in connection with the September 26 incident.

A passerby found Gales' body on the side of the road in the 58600 block of Allen Street. Gales had been shot through the neck and in the back, according to city police Capt. Kenneth Payne. It was the parish's only murder in 2010.

Payne said at the time that Gales had been out of state and had been back in Plaquemine for a day before his murder. He said witnesses said the two men had gotten into an argument and a fistfight with Johnson over a dice game before they heard gunshots saw Gales fall and two suspects run from the scene.

Police also arrested Shaheed Thompson, 19, of 23715 Calvin Street, Plaquemine, as an accessory after the fact.

Also last week, the grand jury returned a pretermitted bill of indictment on Randy Jones of 58661 Ware Drive Plaquemine on a sexual battery charge.