Murder suspect in custody

Published 10:29 pm Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Bogalusa Police Department made an arrest Monday for a double murder on Main Street on Jan. 23.

Chazmon Keon James, 22, of Bogalusa, was charged with the first-degree murder of Justin Clark, the first-degree murder of Alphonso Simmons and aggravated burglary.

Because the crime includes the killing of more than one person and also includes the burglary charge, “this is technically a death penalty case,” said Police Chief Joe Culpepper.

It is believed that a second perpetrator might have been involved, and the investigation continues, he said.

James was arrested based on DNA evidence.

The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office Crime Lab processed the crime scene, which took “several months,” and then sent DNA samples to the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab in Baton Rouge.

“One matched James, who was in the Washington Parish Jail awaiting sentencing for an attempted second-degree murder charge,” said Culpepper.

That crime took place in March of 2011, and a jury found James guilty of the charge “about a month ago,” he said.

Bogalusa detectives arrested James in the jail.

Simmons, of Bogalusa, and Clark, of Hammond, were found shot to death in a residence at 1430 Main St. in the early morning hours of Jan. 23. It was the city’s first double homicide in at least two years and the first murders of 2012.

Anyone with information is urged to call Crime Stoppers at 504-822-1111 or Bogalusa police detectives at 732-6238. Callers may remain anonymous, and tips to CrimeStoppers may result in a cash reward.