Three convicted in death of Bayou Goula man

Deidre Cruse

An Iberville Parish jury has convicted three Plaquemine men of second degree murder in the shooting death of James Kelley, killed during a robbery at a Bayou Goula mobile home, District Attorney Richard J. “Ricky” Ward Jr. reported Monday.

During the course the trial, Ward said, Carl Arnaud, 33, was identified as the shooter. As the jury deliberated, he said his office made plea deals to the two defendants on trial with him in 18th Judicial District Court last month: Roderick Henderson, 26, and Morquincy Mosby, 28, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in exchange for 15-year prison sentences.

After two hours of deliberation, the jury returned guilty verdicts against all three defendants.

Arnaud faces a mandatory life sentence for second degree murder, Ward said. District Judge William C. Dupont, who presided over the trial, set sentencing for October 31.

A fourth defendant in the case, Jeramie Butler, 28, of 24640 Hebert Street, Plaquemine, was a state witness at the trial, Ward said.

“We have not disposed of his case yet,” the district attorney said.

Ward said Kelley, a man in his mid-50s, at the time of his death on July 7, 2006.

“These four men were riding around, and they were going to try to steal some drugs and money,” Ward said of the four defendants. When they went to the trailer where Kelley was living with several other people, they happened on victim, who died of a single gunshot wound to the chest, and took around $30, but no drugs, the DA said.

He said prosecution of the case was delayed by litigation over the representation of the four accused men “that went to the Supreme Court and back.”

Tony Clayton was the lead prosecutor in the case. The defendants were represented by public defenders, Arnaud by Tommy Thompson, Henderson by Jerry D'Aquilla and Mosby by Mike Parks.

Arnaud's address at the time of his arrest was 57737 Canal Street; Henderson's, 57936 Center Street, and Mosby's 58115 Gay Street, Ward said.