Iberville deputies book Baton Rougeans in double murder
PLAQUEMINE — Deputies arrested a Baton Rouge man and woman late Wednesday and booked them in the killings of two men whose bodies were found early Monday in a vehicle parked in a field off La. 1 in Plaquemine, Iberville Parish Sheriff Brett Stassi said Friday.
Stassi called a news conference to say that Harry Prater, 30, 1331 N. Sherwood Forest Blvd., Apt. 136, Baton Rouge, was booked into the Iberville Parish Jail on two counts of first-degree murder and one count of obstruction of justice in the slayings of Ronald Anthony Harrell, 38, 7314 Dan Drive, Baton Rouge; and Junius Dedrick, 46, 8438 Island Road, Ventress.
Stassi said Prater’s girlfriend, Brandi Singleton, 29, 4500 Sherwood Commons Blvd., Apt. 1005, Baton Rouge, was booked on one count of obstruction of justice in the killings of Harrell and Dedrick.
An Iberville Parish Sheriff’s Office motorcycle deputy found the bodies of Harrell and Dedrick at 6:30 a.m. Monday inside a vehicle abandoned in a field near the Iberville Math, Science and Arts Academy on St. Louis Road, Sheriff’s Office spokesman Maj. Johnny Blanchard has said.
“Homicides like this don’t normally occur in our parish,” Stassi said.
Stassi said the suspects were arrested in East Baton Rouge Parish and booked as fugitives from Iberville.
The sheriff would not comment on the couple’s motive or specific details regarding their association with the victims.
“This is an ongoing investigation,” Stassi said. “We’re waiting for several things to come back from the crime lab. We worked tirelessly on this case. We searched multiple homes, vehicles and retrieved days’ worth of surveillance video from several businesses throughout Iberville Parish.”
The Iberville Parish Sheriff’s Office was assisted in the investigation by the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office, Baton Rouge Police Department and Louisiana State Police, Stassi said.
Stassi said Prater and Singleton both have criminal records.
The sheriff said Singleton has several misdemeanor arrests on her record and Prater has an “extensive” criminal record dating back to 2002 that includes several felony arrests related to concealed weapons and drug-related cases.
Both Harrell and Dedrick had criminal records in the Baton Rouge metropolitan area, ranging from drug possession and assault to robbery and simple burglary, the sheriff said.
Michael Dedrick, 44, Junius Dedrick’s younger brother, said Friday he had never seen his brother with Prater or Singleton and had no idea how his brother came to be associated with them.
“We are really pleased with the arrests,” Michael Dedrick said. “We really want to thank the police for all their work.”
Michael Dedrick said his family has “a lot” of members who live in Plaquemine, so it’s possible his elder brother was heading there to visit one of them.
Funeral services for Junius Dedrick are scheduled in New Roads next weekend, he added.
Harrell’s relatives could not be reached for comment Friday.