Two bodies found in Iberville Parish field identified

Iberville Parish sheriff’s deputies have identified the two men found shot to death Monday inside a vehicle in a field off La. 1, Sheriff Brett Stassi said.

A motorcycle deputy found Ronald Anthony Harrell, 38, 7314 Dan Drive, Baton Rouge, and Junius Dedrick, 46, 8438 Island Road, Ventress, in the vehicle at 6:30 a.m., Stassi said in a news release.

The vehicle was discovered in a field near the Iberville Math, Science and Arts Academy on St. Louis Road, Sheriff’s Office spokesman Maj. Johnny Blanchard said.

Earica Dedrick, 45, Junius Dedrick’s youngest sister, said her brother was on his way to meet a cousin sometime in the 24 hours before his death.

Earica Dedrick said her brother called her at 8 p.m. Sunday, which was the last time she spoke to him.

“He was at the store,” she said. “He said he was going home in a few minutes.”

Junius Dedrick had drug issues in the past but did not have enemies “that we know of,” Earica Dedrick said.

Junius Dedrick went to a hospital in February with chest pains and later found out he had a leaking valve in his heart, Earica Dedrick said. He was released from the hospital in March, she said.

The illness convinced him to change his life around, his sister said.

“We all make mistakes,” she said. “He was willing to try to change his life.”

Mary Dedrick, 69, Junius Dedrick’s mother, said her son was staying in a house in Baton Rouge he bought in July.

He left home after high school, Mary Dedrick said, but usually called his mother every morning.

“He was a good son,” she said. “He used to love to make people laugh.”

Family members of Harrell could not be reached for comment Monday.

Deputies suspect that Ronald Harrell and Junius Dedrick were shot by a third party, Blanchard said. He said the two men knew each other.

Stassi said the vehicle appeared to have run off the road.

Investigators found no bullet holes on the vehicle but found the driver’s window had been rolled down, Blanchard said.

Ronald Harrell and Junius Dedrick did not have any prior criminal history in Iberville Parish, Blanchard said.

In East Baton Rouge Parish, Harrell pled guilty in 1995 to first-degree robbery, in 2001 to possession of schedule I drugs and in 2008 to possession of cocaine, parish clerk of court records show.

Harrell had also been arrested on a count of aggravated assault in West Baton Rouge in 1996, according to court records in the 18th Judicial District, which covers Iberville, West Baton Rouge and Pointe Coupee parishes.

In Pointe Coupee, Harrell was arrested in 1997 on armed robbery and in 2001 on possession with intent to distribute marijuana.

Dedrick was arrested 21 times in West Baton Rouge and Pointe Coupee parishes, for incidents ranging from theft to possession with intent to distribute cocaine, between 1994 and 2009, court records show.

Dedrick pled guilty in 2003 to simple burglary in East Baton Rouge Parish.

Anyone with information about the killings is asked to call the Iberville Parish Sheriff’s Office at (225) 687-5100.

Advocate staff writer Steven Ward contributed to this report.