Tonight, we continue our coverage of a Lafayette Parish murder case that left two families frustrated with the justice system.
Traven Solomon was arrested this week in connection with the murder of Robert Felix in Scott in November.
You can read our previous story with Felix’s family here.
KATC uncovered Solomon was out on bond, awaiting trial in another murder case: Damien Champ in 2015.
“It was pure hell to me. For four years, it’s been a roller coaster,” said Alvin Champ, Damien’s father.
Alvin lives in Shreveport, but just about every week, he makes a trip to Acadiana to visit his son at the cemetery.
“Every time I come, I talk to him. I tell him, ‘I hope I’m getting justice soon.’ I talk about his kids and how they’re doing,” said the father.
For him, the path to getting that justice for Damien has not been simple.
Records show the public defender for his son’s accused killer has been changed three times, pushing back court dates.
Each court appearance, Alvin said he would drive to Lafayette, hoping to get some answers and leave even more upset.
“It’s frustrating why it wasn’t happening. How does the system keep failing like that?” he questioned.
Solomon’s bond for second-degree murder and monetary abuse charges was initially set at $200,000, but it was later reduced to $10,000 ($7,500 for second-degree murder and $2,500 for monetary abuse). Last March, a year after it was reduced, he was able to post bond.
Eight months later is when Felix was killed.
“When you kill somebody, you’re walking free to go and kill somebody else? Now that’s two families that are suffering,” said Damien’s dad.
Alvin now feels for Felix’s family, going through a pain he knows all too well. He said he wants to speak publicly about the situation so more families won’t have to.
“It hurts to even talk about it, but now I want justice,” he said. “He was the one who killed my son. Now, he retaliated and killed someone else, so that’s another family suffering. That’s what’s making me hope he doesn’t come out. I hope he doesn’t get out this time. We’ll just have to wait and see what the court system is going to do this time. Are they going to let him out again, or this time, are they going to prosecute him? So, I’m just waiting on justice for Damien.”
Although Solomon’s trial has not been set, records show he has a court date later this month.