Monday, October 29, 2007
Baton Rouge, LA. Oct. 29, 2007
Within 30 minutes of surveillance video airing on television newscasts, Baton Rouge police say they got the tips they needed to make an arrest in Wednesday’s murder of an elderly security guard. The murder happened at Pete’s Farmer’s Market on Airline Highway. Derrick Williams, 25, was charged with First Degree Murder and Armed Robbery. “
He is done, no more,” said Baton Rouge Police Chief Jeff LeDuff during a Friday afternoon news conference called to announce the arrest.The grainy surveillance video released by police shows a gunman arguing with 71-year-old security guard Alfred Mequet. The gunman demands money and attempts to open two cash registers. He opens fire, shooting and killing the guard. Before releasing the surveillance video to the media, the face of the victim was blurred and many segments that contained the victim’s voice were muted.The gunman was never able to open the cash registers, which were actually empty. The murder happened just before 5am, when the market was closed. “Literally within a half an hour of that video airing on television, our phones were ringing off the hook,” said police spokesman Sergeant Don Kelly. “We had tips coming in from throughout the community,” Kelly said.LeDuff says he agonized over whether to release the surveillance tape to the media. He now knows he made the right decision and applauds those who called in the tips needed to make the arrest. “Anyone who looked at that video, for those people who have never been involved in crime, to see the victim, and how callous and how unconcerned that young man was to take that shot. I don’t think there’s any question left for them. It’s the right thing to do,”
LeDuff said of the people who provided the tips. “He’s done,” LeDuff said.The victim’s wife, Linda Mequet, said Friday afternoon that she was relieved police had a suspect. She said she hopes Williams “never sees the light of day.” She said she would never miss his parole hearings, if he is convicted of the crime.
Chip Elkins, who owns Miles Paint & Body Shop located next to the market where the killing happened, knew the victim and had performed work on his vehicle. He, too, expressed joy at the news of Williams’ arrest. “I wish they could bring him by here for about 15 minutes before they take him to jail,” Elkins said.
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