A 20-year-old St. Rose man has been arrested and charged with first-degree murder in connection with the May 29, 2012 slaying of 19-year-old Jared Mealey.
Leslie Reed, of 500 Mockingbird Lane, was originally arrested for second-degree murder shortly after Mealey’s death, but was released due to lack of evidence.
St. Charles Parish District Attorney Joel Chaisson said evidence has recently come to light that has resulted in Reed's arrest for Mealey's murder. He would not comment further on the matter.
Mealey was found shot to death only a few blocks away from his home on Turtle Creek Lane in St. Rose. Reed lives one street over from the Mealey residence.
Shortly after the murder, police received calls implicating Reed in the shooting. After he was arrested, Reed told police that 16-year-old Keywine Bradford had shown up at his home immediately after the shooting and admitted to the murder.
After Bradford turned himself in, he signed a confession that placed him at the scene of the crime, but named Reed as the shooter.
Bradford was originally charged with second-degree murder, but charges were reduced to principal to second-degree murder.
In September, a jury handed down a 10-2 guilty verdict convicting Bradford of the crime. Bradford has not been sentenced yet.
The victim’s father, Leo Mealey, said he had a strong feeling Reed was involved in the shooting.
"(Reed) was there. He might have been the shooter. Most likely he was,” Leo said.
Months after Mealey was killed, Reed was parked in a car with Michael McCray Jr. in a driveway on Mockingbird Lane in St. Rose. Gunmen opened fire on the car, killing McCray. Reed wasn’t harmed in the shooting, but was arrested for marijuana possession.
He has been in jail since that time.
Janerio Dewey, Ramon Vinnett, Joshua Avery and Calvin Avery have all been arrested in connection with McCray’s murder.