7 arrested after St. Rose murder
Group from New Orleans tried to rob St. Rose drug dealers, sheriff says
Officers responded to the scene last Monday after residents in the area heard gunfire around 5 a.m. When police arrived, they discovered the body of 21-year-old Richard Bailey, who had been shot several times.
He was pronounced dead at the scene.
“The case involved a group from New Orleans who decided to come out and ‘rip’ or rob two local drug dealers,” St. Charles Parish Sheriff Greg Champagne said. “Another example of how involvement in the drug trade can get you killed.”
Shortly after the shooting occurred, the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office made seven arrests in connection with the murder.
The alleged gunman, Joseph John Fountain, 19, of 6001 Downman Road in New Orleans, was taken into custody by U.S. Marshals and charged with first-degree murder. Three other people from New Orleans, including 19-year-old Jonah Wetwiski, 21-year-old Anthony Rotondi and a 16-year-old boy, were all apprehended a day after the shooting and charged with principal to first-degree murder.
Three other people arrested during an investigation into the murder were charged with the attempted distribution of drugs. They are: David Hunter Jr., 17, of St. Rose, Pedro Furlan Jr., 19, of Harvey and Courtney Ward, an 18-year-old from Metairie.
Bailey’s death was the first murder in St. Charles Parish this year. Champagne praised his deputies and detectives for their quick work in rounding up the suspects.
“Thanks to all of our deputies and detectives who worked diligently to close this case without sleep,” Champagne said. “Hopefully this will be the only homicide this year.”
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