Conviction handed down in Mealey slaying
After a three-day long trial, a jury handed down a 10-2 guilty verdict convicting Keywine Bradford, 18, of principal to second-degree murder in the death of Jared Mealey.
“This conviction sends a message that this type of senseless violence is not going to be tolerated by law enforcement and the District Attorney’s Office of St. Charles Parish,” District Attorney Joel Chaisson said.
Despite Bradford’s conviction, Chaisson said his office is still investigating other potential suspects in the crime.
“I feel there is possibly another prosecution that may result from this crime,” he said.
Bradford’s conviction on principal to second-degree murder rather than on second-degree murder alone is indicative that another prosecution may be forthcoming.
“Principal does not necessarily mean that you have to be the one to pull the trigger. It could be a situation where you aid and abet someone else in committing a murder when you actively assisted them with that murder,” Chaisson said.
The conviction carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. A sentencing hearing has been set for Oct. 19.
Bradford was named as a key suspect shortly after Mealey was found shot to death in his car blocks away from his home on Turtle Creek Lane in St. Rose on May 29, 2012.
After turning himself in at the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office, Bradford initially signed a confession saying that he had flagged down Mealey’s car and that St. Rose resident Leslie Reed had shot Mealey. Reed was also arrested for Mealey’s murder, but was later released without being indicted.
While Bradford told police that Reed was the shooter, Reed told detectives Bradford had shown up at his house the night of the murder and admitted to the shooting. However, Reed refused to testify at the trial.
In January, Reed was in a car with Michael McCray Jr. when several gunman opened fire killing McCray. Reed escaped without injury. McCray’s uncle said he believed the shooters in that incident were attempting to kill Reed in retaliation for Mealey’s death.
Reed is currently in the Nelson Coleman Correctional Center after being arrested for possession of marijuana.
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