Baton Rouge police were investigating a recent homicide Wednesday when they made an unusual find inside a drug house in Zion City: four championship football rings.
The rings — a Pittsburgh Steelers Super Bowl ring and three LSU bowl rings, valued at $45,000 — had been stolen from a friend who was keeping them for former LSU running back Justin Vincent.
Police arrested three people after serving search warrants, including Courtney Henderson, a woman who admitted swiping the rings while cleaning a home on East Old Perkins Road.
“When we went in there, we didn’t even know (about the rings),” Baton Rouge police Cpl. L’Jean McKneely said Thursday. “We were looking for some evidence that involved a recent homicide.”
McKneely declined to discuss the homicide investigation.
The East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office investigated the theft of the rings.
Vincent did not return messages seeking comment. Efforts to reach the friend were unsuccessful.
Vincent’s friend, who was not identified, told investigators he had been moving with his family when he noticed that “five of the eight rings were missing from the wooden display case that is kept inside his master closet,” according to an affidavit.
The man had begun to compile a list of people who helped the family pack when he received a call and learned police had recovered the rings while serving a search warrant.
The homicide investigation had led detectives to Henderson’s home on Cadillac Street, where authorities seized two firearms, four pounds of marijuana and the championship rings. The memorabilia — including rings from LSU’s 2003 BCS National Championship, the 2005 Peach Bowl and the 2007 Sugar Bowl — had been placed on top of an armoire in a brown silk tie box, according to court records.
In addition to the rings, authorities found a shotgun, a digital scale with suspected marijuana residue on it and $115.
Henderson told authorities that she allows her brother to sell drugs out of her home and receives a cut of the profit, according to an affidavit of probable cause. She also said that, while cleaning the home on Old Perkins, “she didn’t know she couldn’t have the rings because the house was mostly cleaned out,” the affidavit says.
Henderson was booked into Parish Prison counts of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, possession of a firearm with controlled dangerous substances, a gun with an obliterated serial number and illegal possession of stolen things.
Police also booked Rashee Scruggs, 30, and Jessie Scruggs, 60, both of 5766 Peerless St., on counts of possession of hydrocodone. Rashee Scruggs also faces second-offense marijuana possession counts, while Jessie Scruggs faces first-offense marijuana possession counts.
An affidavit says Rashee Scruggs told the officer driving him to the Parish Prison that authorities “might as well book him for murder because next time we come he’s gonna murder a cop.”