Manslaughter charge dropped in Destrehan shooting

25-year-old Weston Keller was shot by 68-year-old, report says

The Destrehan man accused of shooting and killing 25-year-old Weston Keller over money was released after a grand jury did not indict him on manslaughter.

Donald Daughdrill, 68, was arrested and charged in the March 16 shooting death of Keller.

Weston’s twin sister, Alexis Keightley of Norco, said she disagreed with the verdict.

“I was speechless for many days after hearing it,” Keightley said. “However, I do find comfort in knowing he will be judged by a higher power sooner than later. And though justice was not served for Weston, I refuse to let this verdict affect how I remember my brother or how I live my life despite this horrific, senseless tragedy.”

Earlier this year, Keller and Daughdrill, who both lived in the same residence on Tara Drive but were not related, got into an argument that escalated to the shooting, according to the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office. Daughdrill accused Keller of stealing money from him.

When detectives arrived on the scene in the 3700 block of Tara Drive, they found the 25-year-old Destrehan resident dead lying on the floor from a single gunshot to the chest.

According to the police report, Keller’s grandmother, Ethel Farrae, who witnessed the altercation, told detectives she “believed that Daughdrill acted out of self-defense due to his medical condition.”

Daughdrill, who had been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, kept a gun in his chair, which Farrae said she had given him “for protection for times he was home alone,” according to the police report.

Farrae states “Keller lunged toward Daughdrill and she heard a loud pop.” She said she quickly realized Daughdrill shot Keller, according to her police statement.

Daughdrill told detectives he was diagnosed with cancer about 14 months ago, but told he had two months to live. Soon after the diagnosis, he moved into Farrae’s residence.

He said he had Farrae withdraw $50,000 from his bank, intending to give the remaining amount to her minus the cost of his cremation.

He told detectives he kept the cash in a briefcase for nearly a year with him in anticipation of his death. But at some point he accused Keller of taking an undetermined amount of it.

After the shooting, family members maintained Keller wasn’t the kind of person who would steal money.

Family and friends held a candlelight vigil for Keller at the East Bank Bridge Park in Destrehan that drew more than 100 people.

Keller’s uncle, Dennis Keller of Metairie, called the killing “senseless.”

St. Charles Parish District Attorney Joel Chaisson II said the grand jury decided not to press charges against Daughdrill.

“Following the refusal, Daughdrill was released from the custody of the Sheriff’s Office on May 12, and transported to St. Charles Parish Hospital due to his failing health caused by the cancer and COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease),” Chaisson said.

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