Posted: Apr 5, 2011 6:04 PM by Melissa Hawkes
Updated: Apr 5, 2011 6:05 PM
A Lafayette man who allegedly took part in the murder of one of his own family members pleaded not guilty this morning. Gregory Lemelle Jr. is facing principle to second-degree murder charges.
Court documents say he allegedly assisted Andre Bernard in shooting Rickey Blackwell. The incident happened in January of last year.
Family members say Blackwell was asleep in his car at his sister's home when Lemelle and Bernard approached him and shot him. Blackwell was hospitalized for almost a year before he died this past December.
Blackwell's sister, Destinee Livings, said "he was paralyzed from the neck down. They didn't knew who did it and we got in the room and it was bad."
He was rushed to the hospital on January 4, 2010 after being shot while sitting in his car in his sister's drive-way. He was under constant medical care until the day he died on December 3rd.
The victim's wife, Markeitha Blackwell, said "for somebody that was never sick to be injured the way that he did is basically horrible. There was no sense or reason for somebody to have to live like that."
Blackwell said she still doesn't know what lead to two of her cousin's --Gregory Lemelle and Andre Bernard--allegedly shooting her husband.
His aunt, Priscilla Blackwell, said "it was sad to see and all I ask is why did they shot him. No body knows."
Livings, said "he told me they were trying to rob him but they never took anything."
Livings said her brother could still talk and communicate with them while he was in the hospital, but he still could never make sense of what happened.
"He considered one the people to be a friend," he said. "He was depressed and he just kept asking why and we couldn't tell him."
Markeitha said, "it's pitiful, he wanted to face them. He just didn't live to face them, he wanted to face them in court so they could see what they did to him."
Blackwell never got his day in court but his wife says even though the two suspects are family, she hopes they get prosecuted to the fullest. A trial date has not yet been set for either Bernard or Lemelle.