3 more arrested in homicide investigation

By Zachary Fitzgerald zfitzgerald@daily-review.com

A 22-year-old Morgan City man was arrested Wednesday afternoon for second degree murder, and two women were arrested for accessory to second degree murder in connection with the death of Willie Francis, 23, of Bayou Vista, St. Mary Parish Sheriff Mark Hebert said in a news release.
—Kirkland Craft, 22, of the 1400 block of Railroad Avenue in Morgan City, was arrested at the St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office in Morgan City at 2:17 p.m. Wednesday for second degree murder.
—Priscilla Francis, 41, of the 300 block of Venus Street in Bayou Vista, was arrested at the St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office in Franklin at 3:45 p.m. Wednesday on a warrant for accessory to second degree murder.
—Autumn Alfred, 24, of the 300 block of Venus Street in Bayou Vista, was arrested at the St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office in Morgan City at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday on a warrant for accessory to second degree murder.
On Tuesday, a 15-year-old juvenile female was arrested for second degree murder. Because she is a juvenile, no additional information regarding her identity will be released, Hebert said.
At about 11:30 p.m. Oct. 29, a sheriff’s deputy patrolling the Bayou Vista area located Francis’ vehicle on U.S. 90 with the engine running. Concerned for his welfare because of the circumstances under which the vehicle was found, St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s detectives launched an investigation into Francis’ whereabouts, the sheriff said.
At about 10:30 a.m. on Oct. 30, Berwick police received a phone call regarding the discovery of a body along La. 182.
The St. Mary Parish coroner identified the deceased as Willie Francis. According to the St. Mary Parish coroner, Francis sustained multiple stab wounds, Hebert said.
Working with Berwick police, St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office detectives determined through interviews and evidence gathered at the crime scene that Craft and the juvenile attacked Willie Francis on La.182 in Berwick stabbing Willie Francis to death with a knife, Hebert said.
The knife was recovered at the scene of the crime, Hebert said.
Craft was arrested by Morgan City police at 10 a.m. Wednesday on warrants for theft less than $500 and failure to appear for contempt of court and was then taken to the St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office in Morgan City. Morgan City police had picked Craft up from the Lafayette Police Department.
The stabbing was corroborated by the suspects’ statements, the sheriff said.
Priscilla Francis and Autumn Alfred both had knowledge of the crime, Hebert said. The motive behind the homicide remains under investigation. Evidence gathered at the location is being analyzed by the Acadiana Crime Lab.
Priscilla Francis was located at the St. Mary Parish Courthouse in Franklin and arrested, and Alfred was arrested after being questioned at the St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office in Morgan City.
None of the suspects are related to Willie Francis, Hebert said.
There has been no information released to connect the Oct. 27 incident where Francis was assaulted with a firearm in Morgan City, the sheriff said.
Two arrests were made last week in the aggravated assault with a firearm incident on Francis and his father, Willie Webb.
Taj Broussard, 17, of Lafayette, was arrested Oct. 31 on warrants for aggravated assault with a firearm and resisting an officer.
Joshua Donnell Robertson, 22, of Mallard Street in Morgan City, was arrested Oct. 30 on a warrant for aggravated assault with a firearm, resisting an officer and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.
Broussard and Robertson threatened Francis and Webb with a handgun during an argument in the Fifth Street area of Morgan City, Morgan City Police Chief Travis Crouch said.
A third man was listed as a suspect in the initial report, but a warrant has not been issued for his arrest, Crouch said.
The investigation into Willie Francis’ homicide remains under investigation. Anyone with information may contact the St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office at 985-384-1622 or 337-828-1960 or Berwick Police Department at 985-384-7710.
 

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