Prater convicted of killing two in 2012 in Iberville Parish

A Baton Rouge man was found guilty Thursday on two counts of second-degree murder for killing two men in 2012 and leaving their bodies in an abandoned vehicle in a field in Iberville Parish.

It took an Iberville Parish jury 30 minutes to convict Harry Prater, 31, 1331 N. Sherwood Forest Blvd., of killing Ronald A. Harrell, 38, of Baton Rouge, and Junius Dedrick, 46, of Ventress, District Attorney Ricky Ward said Thursday.

Harrell and Dedrick were found shot to death inside a vehicle abandoned in a field near the Iberville Math, Science and Arts Academy on St. Louis Road in Plaquemine. Family members said previously they believed Dedrick and Harrell were traveling to Plaquemine to visit one of Dedrick’s cousins, authorities have said.

Assistant District Attorney Tony Clayton said Prater’s motive behind the killings was armed robbery. Clayton said the three men had gone out to clubs together the night before the murders, and Dedrick had been flashing a large wad of cash.

Ward said Prater will be sentenced on June 13. Prater is facing a mandatory life sentence in prison.