‘I’m gonna whack him:’ Chilling confession sheds new light on St. Rose murder
Keywine Bradford, 18, was convicted in September of principal to second-degree murder in the death of Jared Mealey in the Preston Hollow neighborhood of St. Rose.
Bradford has repeatedly told police that he was not the one who shot Mealey, instead placing blame on 20-year-old Leslie Reed.
Reed was arrested shortly after Mealey’s murder on May 29, 2012 but was released due to lack of evidence. Last month, the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office rearrested Reed and charged him with first-degree murder.
Bradford sat down with a detective last month and gave a more detailed account of what he said transpired that night. According to that statement to police, Mealey was marked for death for no apparent reason.
On May 29, Bradford said he and Reed were driving down Turtle Creek Lane when they passed Mealey, who was standing in front of his house.
Reed glanced at Mealey and allegedly said, “I’m gonna whack him.”
Bradford told police that he went along with Reed’s plan to murder Mealey, and the two met later that evening in Preston Hollow. That’s when Reed showed Bradford a black, 9mm millennium edition handgun that he had tucked into his waistband, according to the teen’s statement.
While Reed and Bradford were standing outside, Mealey happened to pass by them in his car and the two began following him to the intersection of Mockingbird Lane and Normandy Street.
Bradford said that Reed then handed him the gun, but the teen told police that he realized he wouldn’t be able to commit murder and declined to shoot Mealey. Instead, he said Reed took the gun back and asked him to flag Mealey down.Bradford waved at Mealey, who pulled his car over to talk.
While they were chatting, Bradford says he saw Reed creep up from behind Mealey’s car and walk to the driver’s side window.
Bradford began to back up.
According to Bradford, Reed fired at Mealey and kept firing into the vehicle. Bradford said that Mealey never saw the shots coming. The two then fled down Normandy back to Mockingbird Lane where Reed paused in the street, looked at Mealey’s vehicle and said, “Look at my work,” according to Bradford.
Bradford told police that he could see that Mealey’s vehicle had rolled into a nearby yard and that the headlights were shining down the roadway.
After that, Bradford said the two split up and went to their homes.
While Bradford was convicted of principal to second-degree murder, he has not been sentenced yet. A status hearing is scheduled in Reed’s case next month.
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