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The City of New Orleans

Mayor Mitchell J. Landrieu

Six Indicted in Death of Officer Rodney Thomas

August 22, 2013

Five people are in custody tonight and one man is at-large after all six were indicted this afternoon on charges related to the hit-and-run death of Officer Rodney Thomas.  All six face steep bonds.

Officer Thomas was killed by a hit-and-run driver the morning of July 7th on the I-10 eastbound near the High Rise. Evidence left on the scene led investigators to identify the car as a white Porsche.   

Through tips and investigation, Homicide detectives traced the Porsche to an auto body-shop in the 2600-block of Gravier Street.  Surveillance video taken the morning of the hit-and-run shows individuals opening the shop's garage doors for the car's driver to enter.  The video further shows individuals taking action to conceal evidence.

The following people were indicted today in this case:

Kenneth Halley: Manslaughter, Obstruction of Justice, Conspiracy to Obstruction of justice, Conspiracy to Act as an Assessor After the Fact to Manslaughter. Bond set at $1.6 million.

Justin McKey:  Manslaughter.  Bond set at $1million.

John Chambers: Accessory After the Fact to Manslaughter, Obstruction of Justice, Conspiracy to Obstruction of Justice ,Conspiracy to Act as an Accessory After the Fact to Manslaughter. Bond set at $800-thousand.

Nephateria Jones:  Accessory After the Fact to Manslaughter, Obstruction of Justice, Conspiracy to Obstruction of  Justice, Conspiracy to Act as an Accessory After the Fact to Manslaughter. Bond set at $800-thousand.

Bill Cager: (Owner of the body shop) Conspiracy to Act as an Assessor After the Fact to Manslaughter, Conspiracy to Obstruction of Justice, Obstruction of Justice, Accessory after the Fact to Manslaughter. Bond set at $800-thousand.

James Ratliff: Obstruction of Justice, Conspiracy to the Obstruction of Justice.  Bond set at $400-thousand.

All individuals are in custody except John Chambers.

Superintendent Ronal Serpas said, “The actions of these individuals are nothing less than repugnant.  Instead of turning themselves in after it was widely reported that Officer Thomas had been killed, they continued to take measures to cover up their crime. ”

“I want to thank our Homicide detectives for their hard work and dedication to this case.  And this department thoroughly appreciates the many hours put in to this case by the Orleans District Attorney’s Office.  Our partnership is yielding the stiff penalties those convicted deserve”, Serpas said.    

Rodney Thomas was hired by the NOPD in March of 2005.  He worked his entire career with the department in the Second District, and became a permanent, positive fixture in the Uptown community.   He leaves behind a wife and two children.  Rodney Thomas was 52-years-old.

                                                # # #

Contact:  Remi Braden

rabraden@nola.gov

 
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Last updated: 8/23/2013 11:58:26 AM

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