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Posted: Thursday, 22 August 2013 8:03PM

Six indicted in hit-and-run death of NOPD officer



The NOPD has taken into custody five of six suspects indicted late today in the hit and run death of NOPD Officer Rodney Thomas.

Thomas died in early July while trying to direct traffic on I-10 following a minor accident.

Investigators say Thomas was struck by a Porche being driven "erratically" which sped through the crash scene, hitting and killing the veteran officer.

Throughout the investigation, the NOPD has said they were looking for suspects involved in the attempted cover-up of the hit and run death.

The NOPD says more details are to come tonight about the indictment of these six suspects.  Check back here for details.

The six indicted suspects are (left to right, top to bottom:) Bill Cager, James Ratliff, John Chambers, Justin McKey, Nephateria Jones, and Kenneth Halley.

Three of the suspects, McKey, Cager, and Halley had been previously arrested in the case.  McKey was the alleged driver, and Cager owns a body shop where the alleged coverup was attempted, according to police.

The only one of the six at large is Chambers, the suspect with the #9 tattoo on his neck.



The following is the full press release from the NOPD:

Five people are in custody tonight and one man is at large after all six were indicted this afternoon on charges related to the hit-and-run death of Officer Rodney Thomas.  All six face steep bonds.

Officer Thomas was killed by a hit-and-run driver the morning of July 7th on the I-10 eastbound near the High Rise. He was pronounced dead later that morning.

Through tips and investigation, Homicide detectives traced the car to an auto body-shop in the 2600-block of Gravier Street.  Surveillance video taken the morning of the hit-and-run shows individuals opening the shop's garage doors for the car's driver to enter.  The video further shows individuals taking actions to conceal evidence.
The following people were indicted today in this case:

Kenneth Halley: Manslaughter, obstruction of justice, conspiracy to obstruction of justice, conspiracy to act as an assessor after the fact to manslaughter. Bond set at $1.6 million.

Justin McKey:  Manslaughter.  Bond set at $1million.

John Chambers: Accessory after the fact to manslaughter, obstruction of justice, conspiracy to obstruction of justice ,conspiracy to act as an accessory after the fact to manslaughter. Bond set at $800-thousand.

Nephateria Jones:  Accessory after the fact to Manslaughter, Obstruction of Justice, Conspiracy to obstruction of  justice, conspiracy to act as an accessory after the fact to manslaughter. Bond set at $800-thousand.

Bill Cager: (Owner of the body shop) Conspiracy to act as an assessor after the fact to manslaughter, conspiracy to obstruction of justice, obstruction of justice, accessory after the fact to manslaughter. Bond set at $800-thousand.

James Ratliff: Obstruction of justice, conspiracy to the obstruction of justice.  Bond set at $400-thousand.

All individuals are in custody except Chambers.

Please call CrimeStoppers at 822-1111 if you think you know where he is.

Rodney Thomas was hired by the NOPD in March of 2005.  He worked his entire career with the department in the Second District, and became a permanent, positive fixture in the Uptown community.   He leaves behind a wife and two children.  Rodney Thomas was 52-years-old.




 


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Topics : Disaster_AccidentLaw_Crime
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