Three charged in Welsh murder

WELSH – Three suspects are being held on second-degree murder charges in the Jan. 22 shooting death of Nehemiah Gray.

At a press conference Thursday morning, Welsh police chief Marcus Crochet said physical evidence and a slew of tips from area communities helped investigators locate and charge Trevonte Talbert, 22, of Brusly, Nicholas Anderson, 25, of Lafayette, and Terrell Williams IV, 25, of Franklin. Each suspect is being held on $1 million bonds.

Twenty-five year-old Gray was discovered with multiple gunshot wounds beneath a carport on Coleman Street. Crochet said shell casings were discovered throughout yards surrounding that property.

Talbert turned himself in to Welsh police Tuesday after his identity was released to the public as a person of interest. Crochet said Talbert and Williams are suspected shooters in the case while Anderson’s full role is still being determined. Police are unsure if more arrests will be made in the case. While investigators believe they have determined a motive in the slaying, the chief declined to release that information or reveal how many gunshot wounds the victim sustained.

It is believed Gray knew his accused killers through one mutual friend.

“The suspects are acquainted but we’re unsure how exactly they got together to carry out this crime,” Crochet said. “Some of the suspects are cooperating, some are not.”

The police chief was asked if Gray’s death was drug-related. Jennings Police Department narcotics detectives assisted at the crime scene and throughout the investigation, he said, but not necessarily because of illegal narcotics.

“Our main focus since Mr. Gray’s murder was to find the persons responsible for his death,” he said.

Approximately 625 man hours were put into the case since Welsh police received the initial call reporting shots fired, according to Crochet. He noted that Jennings police provided several investigators to assist in the case and aided in conducting interviews and executing search warrants. Thirty-one search warrants have been executed in the case throughout Jeff Davis and Lafayette parishes, mostly involving cell phones.

The Jeff Davis district attorney’s office, sheriff’s department, Calcasieu Parish Sheriff’s Office and forensic investigation unit and the Federal Bureau of Investigations have assisted in the case.

“We also had a lot of information from the public,” Crochet said, adding that area communities were crucial in law enforcement’s ability to locate the suspects so quickly. “Even if it was rumor, we chased the leads. It took a lot of foot work and a lot of work between our agencies.”

Despite the arrests, Crochet said investigators are still accepting information in the case.

“We still have a lot of evidence to go through and put together,” he said. “If you feel you have information to contribute to this case, please call us. You never know how that could help.”

Welsh Police Department can be contacted at (337) 734-2626.

As of press time Thursday afternoon, a booking photo of suspect Nicholas Anderson had not yet been made available.

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