Teen murder suspects blame each other for St. Rose killing

19-year-old Jared Mealey was found shot dead in his car

June 29, 2012 at 9:17 am  | Mobile Reader | Pring this storyPrint 

Two St. Charles Parish residents being held for the May 29 murder of Jared Mealey in St. Rose have each said the other did the shooting.

Leslie Reed, 19, and Keywine Bradford, 16, have each been charged with second-degree murder.

A police report revealed that Reed, who lived on the next street over from Mealey, was interviewed the night of the murder, but was not interrogated by police until after calls began to come into the Crimestoppers tip line. Those calls, which came shortly after the shooting, connected Reed to the crime.

After failing a lie detector test administered by police officials on June 5, Reed is said to have accused Bradford of showing up at his residence the night of the murder and admitting he had shot Mealey. Reed said at the time that Bradford had not been seen in St. Rose since the shooting occurred.

Bradford was the subject of a manhunt after being named as a suspect in the shooting on June 5. With his mother at his side, Bradford turned himself into police custody the following day.

Although Bradford initially said he had nothing to do with the crime, he admitted involvement shortly after being taken into custody.

Court documents reveal Bradford authored a note stating that he and Reed had seen Mealey earlier in the day and that Reed had said he "wanted him dead." According to Bradfordís statement, Reed then asked Bradford to do the shooting.

Bradford wrote that he agreed to shoot Mealey and had taken the murder weapon from Reed when they saw Mealey driving through the neighborhood later in the day. However, Bradford wrote that he "froze up" and handed the gun back.

"I froze up and told Leslie I couldnít do it, so he took the gun and told me just to flag him down and he was gone do it," Bradford said in his written statement.

Once Bradford flagged Mealey down, he says that Reed shot him.

"I flagged him down and [Reed] did it and we ran in different directions," Bradford wrote. "Thatís the honest truth."

Mealey was found slumped over in his car with bullet wounds to the left side of his head and left shoulder. The driverís side window and back window of the car were both shattered.

Bullet casings were found several houses up from where Mealeyís car came to a rest after running over a mailbox and hitting a fire hydrant.

No motive was given for the murder and no other witnesses to the shooting have come forward.

Bradford is being held under a $500,000 bond and his arraignment is set for July 12. Reed is being held under a $1 million bond and will appear in court on July 5 for a motion to reduce his bond and a preliminary exam.

Those with any further information about the crime are asked to contact the St. Charles Parish Sheriffís Office at (985)783-6807 or Crime Stoppers at 1-877-903-STOP.

View other articles written By Kyle Barnett

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