Covering Louisiana

Mar 2, 2014 2:26 PM by KATC

Man indicted in Baton Rouge State Fair killing

An 18-year-old has been indicted in the Nov. 2 shooting death of another man at the crowded Greater Baton Rouge State Fair.

The Advocate reports that an East Baton Rouge Parish grand jury on Thursday indicted Keithdrick Lamond Pier of Baton Rouge on a second-degree murder charge.

He faces an automatic sentence of life in prison if convicted in the killing of Darrius Scott, 20, of Baton Rouge.

Pier was in Parish Prison and it was not immediately clear whether he has an attorney.

Records show Pier has a history of gun-related offenses.

In November 2012, Pier was booked with illegal carrying of a weapon and resisting an officer. After an officer told him to clear a roadway, Pier reached for his waistband and ran away, jumping a fence. He later dropped the gun before throwing his hands up and surrendering. Pier told officers he bought the gun for $50 and carried it in his waistband because he needed protection, according to a police report.

In August 2013, Pier pleaded guilty to simple burglary of an inhabited dwelling. The charge stemmed from an April burglary when authorities say Pier broke into a home and stole a .357-caliber handgun. In mid-April, he was accused of discharging a gun on a street in Baton Rouge. Three witnesses told police that Pier fired the gun, and police found eight bullets in his pocket, an affidavit says.

On Nov. 2, thousands of people were at the fairgrounds when gunfire erupted about 11:30 p.m., sending visitors streaming for the exits. After crowds dispersed, authorities found Scott on the ground. He later died.

Fair organizers are considering additional security measures for 2014 event. The potential safety improvements include screening fairgoers with metal detector wands; installing metal detectors at the gate; and barring minors from entering fairgrounds without a parent after a certain hour.

Fair chairman Cliff Barton said the fair has an emergency plan for situations such as a shooting, and getting guests out of the park safely is the priority. The fair has a "no gun policy," he said, and although fair officials check all bags, purses and backpacks, they don't check every person who enters the fairgrounds.

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