John Chambers, the last of six suspects who was still at large in the fatal hit-and-run accident that killed New Orleans police Office Rodney Thomas, turned himself in to police Friday afternoon.
Chambers, 28, was one of three new people to be charged Thursday in the case, which now outlines a broader conspiracy to hide the damage to the Porsche SUV that ran Thomas down after he stopped on the side of the interstate last month.
The two other additional suspects, James Ratliff, 38, and Nephateria Jones, 27, were taken into custody last night.
Justin McKey, 25; Kenneth Halley, 28; and Bill Cager, 34, who had been arrested shortly after the July 7 wreck, were re-booked this week. All three face much higher bonds than they did initially.
The new indictments were handed up by a state grand jury.
Police have not specified what roles Chambers, Ratliff and Jones allegedly played in the crime. But their charges relate only to the alleged cover-up that followed the accident; all three face charges of obstruction of justice and conspiring to obstruct justice. Jones and Chambers also face charges of accessory after the fact to manslaughter and conspiracy to act as an accessory after the fact to manslaughter.
Bond for Jones and Chambers is set at $800,000 apiece. Bond for Ratliff is set at $400,000.
McKey and Halley are both charged with manslaughter, while Halley also faces charges of obstruction of justice, conspiracy to obstruct justice and conspiracy to act as an accessory after the fact to manslaughter. Cager faces only the latter three charges.
Police have said it’s possible more arrests will be forthcoming.
McKey turned himself into police a day after the wreck, saying he was the driver of the white Porsche Panamera that struck Thomas as he got out of his truck to check on damage to another car on the Interstate 10 high-rise over the Industrial Canal. The Porsche sideswiped another car and kept going, leaving Thomas to die on the side of the road.
Halley, who was supposedly a passenger in the Porsche, allegedly then drove the vehicle to a friend’s house. From there, he and at least one companion drove the Porsche to an auto body shop in the 2600 block of Gravier Street, in the shadow of police headquarters. Cager, who owns the body shop on Gravier, met them there, and they tried to clean up the car to hide evidence of the wreck, according to police, who have said video surveillance tapes at the shop confirmed their account.