Independence man to serve life in Hammond slayings

An Independence man convicted of fatally shooting two people in April 2012 will serve life in prison following a judge’s sentencing Wednesday, the 21st Judicial District Attorney’s Office said Friday.

Judge Bruce Bennett imposed two life sentences on Giles McGhee, 53, of Crossover Road in Independence, following his conviction on two first-degree murder charges in the shooting deaths of Tamica Muse, 36, and Karum Smith, 39, at their Hammond home.

A 12-person Tangipahoa Parish jury found McGhee guilty on Feb. 6 on both charges.

McGhee must serve his sentence without the benefit of probation or parole, the District Attorney’s Office said in a news release.

McGhee shot and killed Muse and Smith as the couple lay in bed in their apartment at 107 Mallard Drive the morning of April 5, 2012, prosecutors said.

McGhee had an on-and-off relationship with Muse for years. He had lived at the Mallard Drive apartment but moved out shortly before the shootings when their relationship ended.

Muse’s 16-year-old daughter, Tremeisha Matthews, who was home when the slayings occurred, testified that she heard McGhee yell before she heard gunshots.

McGhee’s stepdaughter, Nicole Flippen, 32, testified that McGhee arrived at her home in Baton Rouge hours after the shootings and admitted to the deed but told her to lie to police about his whereabouts at the time of the killings.

Prosecutors did not seek the death penalty in the case.

The jury voted 11-1 on each charge. A first-degree murder conviction in Louisiana requires a minimum of 10 votes.