Jan 20, 2012 8:46 PM by Shawn Kline
In just one night, the City of Opelousas matched the murder rate for the entire year of 2011 with a double-murder on Court Street. It happened last Tuesday night.
Police say they found the bodies of Desmond Lewis and Gary Richard in a burning home, both shot and killed. Police Chief Perry Gallow says the suspects set the place on fire to cover their tracks.
"This crime was not only disturbing to the families of the two individuals that were killed but also to our department and our city," Gallow said. "We wanted to make it very clear that we would not leave a stone unturned to determine what happened on that particular evening."
Police say they traced the murders to 32-year-old Robert Rideau and arrested two others:
23-year-old Brey Anna Vidrine and 24-year-old Charles Rideau are charged as accessories to the murders.
"We feel we have overwhelming circumstantial as well as physical evidence," Gallow said.
He says the only piece of evidence missing was the murder weapon, even that may have surfaced Friday afternoon. An Acadiana dive team was searching the waters of Bayou Teche and found a weapon matching the description of that used in these murders.
"It's clear that this crime was a drug related crime." Gallow says, "we confiscated a substantial amount of narcotics."
3/4 of a kilo of cocaine, police say.
Gallow says one of the victims was a close acquaintance of Robert Rideau. Gallow says Richard and Rideau lived together in Texas for a time.
"(Rideau) could be considered a person (Richard) trusted."
Gallow says with the evidence he has, more arrests are "probable."