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Sep 28, 2009 6:36 PM by Kate Mundy

Opelousas Inmate Beaten to Death

The holding cell in the Opelousas City Jail became a crime scene Monday morning after one of the men housed there overnight, was beaten to death.

Brian Armstrong, 35, had been arrested Sunday night after allegedly showing up to an AA meeting drunk. He was being held for disturbing the peace by intoxication, resisting an officer and remaining on premises after being forbidden.

The booking report said Armstrong "was very combative and was not dressed out." He was placed in a holding cell at 8:29 p.m.
    
At six o'clock monday morning, his naked lifeless body was discovered. Opelousas police are not sure how long he'd been dead. "We do have dispatchers that are working and desk sergeants and they're required to monitor the jail cell, to do periodic checks," said Capt. Martin McClendon with the Opelousas Police Department.

Before he was jailed, Armstrong had been living at the Opelousas Lighthouse Mission on West South Street. Since 1999, he'd been in and out of jail on numerous charges including disturbing the peace, issuing worthless checks,  terrorizing and forgery. Friends at the mission said the north Louisiana man had been there less than a month.

The homicide investigation is now in the hands of an outside agency. The St. Landry Parish Sheriff's Office is questioning three of Armstrong's cellmates: 28 year old Reginald Cretain, and brothers Chadwick, 29, and William King III, 22.

William King III was in custody, charged with aggravated assault, resisting an officer, felon in possession of a firearm and aggravated burglary. Chadwick King being held on an obstruction of justice charge. Reginald Cretain was charged with aggravated assault.

The three cellmates have since been transferred to the St. Landry Parish Jail. "We're gonna talk to them again, we're hoping to get to the bottom of it, maybe we can get some evidence to see who's really responsible," said Sheriff Bobby Guidroz.

"We want them in our custody so that we have easy access to them, they're gonna be in our facility, they're gonna be isolated from other individuals so we can talk to them," said Sheriff Guidroz.

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