St. Rose teen pleads guilty after fatal shooting

Was convicted of principal to second-degree murder, but received new trial

A St. Rose teen convicted of principal to second-degree murder by a St. Charles Parish jury last September received a new trial last week and immediately pled guilty to manslaughter.

Keywine Bradford, 19, pled guilty in connection with the shooting death of Jared Mealey in the Preston Hollow neighborhood of St. Rose.

While Bradford gave a statement to police indicating that he was present during Mealey’s death, he claims that he was not the shooter. Instead, Bradford said that 22-year-old Leslie Reed, also of St. Rose, shot Mealey on May 29, 2012.

Reed currently faces a charge of second-degree murder.

After his conviction for principal to second-degree murder, Bradford faced a maximum sentence of life in prison. After pleading guilty to manslaughter, he faces up to 40 years in jail.

He will be sentenced in February.

On May 29, 2012, 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, 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 has maintained his innocence, telling police that Bradford showed up at his home after Mealey’s murder and admitted to the shooting.

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