A St. Rose man has received a mandatory sentence of life in prison for the 2012 killing of 19-year-old Jared Mealey, also of St. Rose.
Leslie Reed was convicted of second-degree murder in the case, which carries a mandatory life sentence. A jury deliberated less than an hour April 23 before reaching a verdict. Reed’s co-defendant, Keywine Bradford, also of St. Rose, was previously convicted of manslaughter in connection with Mealey’s death last October.
On May 29, 2012, Mealey was found dead from multiple gun shot wounds in the driver’s seat of a car blocks from his residence in the Preston Hollow subdivision.
St. Charles Parish District Attorney Joel Chaisson II said Friday that Mealey and Reed had been arguing for about a week. Mealey was a 2011 graduate of Destrehan High School and had played on the football team.
Judge Emile St. Pierre of the 29th Judicial District Court sentenced Reed on May 19. Assistant district attorneys Kim McElwee and Connie Aucoin prosecuted the case.
According to statements to police, 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 Bradford’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, according to Bradford.
Bradford added that Reed then handed him a 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. Reed maintained his innocence, telling police that Bradford showed up at his home after Mealey’s murder and admitted to the shooting.