Covering Louisiana

Mar 28, 2014 11:52 AM by AP

Lafourche grand jury indicts 3 in couple's slaying

THIBODAUX, La. (AP) - A Lafourche Parish grand jury has indicted three suspects in a September double murder involving a police informant in Larose.

Toronzo Thompkins and Jerrard Major Sr., both 35 and of Raceland; and Traveyon Blackledge, 18, of Thibodaux; were indicted Thursday on two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of Nikki Landry, 41, and Harry Lefort, 54.

Police believe Thompkins, a convicted drug dealer, ordered Blackledge, his son, and Major to kill Landry, who was to be a lead witness in Tompkins trial on cocaine distribution.

The Daily Comet reports Thompkins was initially arrested in April 2011 as part of Operation Dry Bayou, an investigation targeting cocaine dealers in Lafourche.

Agents videotaped Thompkins buying drugs from Landry, police said, and he was jailed two years while awaiting trial.

While jailed, Thompkins learned Landry had been working as a police informant, and he told his son to kill her, police said. Major was offered money to help.

Landry and Lefort were found dead inside Landry's apartment Sept. 22, each having suffered multiple gunshot wounds. Authorities said Landry was the primary target.

As an informant for the Lafourche Drug Task Force, Landry regularly bought drugs while wearing a hidden camera and volunteered information to police, prosecutors have said.

Thompkins' trial went on as scheduled after the murders. He was convicted and sentenced to 30 years in prison.

If convicted, each of the three faces a mandatory life sentence and could face the death penalty if the District Attorney's Office to decides to seek that punishment.

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