Man arrested for 1st-degree murder

Published 10:28 am Thursday, July 13, 2017

A Bogalusa man was arrested Wednesday and charged with murder in connection with the July 1 fatal shooting of a Lumberton, Miss., man, according to Maj. Percy Knight of the Bogalusa Police Department.

Knight, the public information officer for the BPD, said that officers arrested Dakeithan Dantel Matthews, 21, of Bogalusa, at approximately 10:30 p.m. Wednesday. He is charged with the first-degree murder of Jon Kelly Smith of Lumberton.

Matthews was arrested after a traffic stop was initiated on South Dauphine Street in Bogalusa. Knight said that Matthews was a passenger in the vehicle.

Knight praised the detectives who worked on the case.

No suspects were initially identified on the night of the July 1 homicide, when the BPD received a call about a shooting on Bund Street near Sullivan Drive. A short time later, another caller witnessed a black male discard a black object in a trashcan located in the 1700 block of St. Louis Street.

Knight said that when officers went to the location and searched the trashcan, they recovered a black checkbook that reportedly belonged to the wife of the victim.

According to the victim’s wife, the Smiths came to Bogalusa to collect a debt from someone who owed them money. While on Bund Street, a black male reportedly came up to their vehicle and took a black checkbook containing a small amount of cash from inside the vehicle. The witness reportedly told the Pearl River County (Miss.) Sheriff’s Office that the suspect left the scene running with the checkbook, and the victim got out of the vehicle to give chase.

The witness stated that the suspect then fired a small caliber gun at the victim, striking him three times — once in the abdomen, once in the thigh and once in the foot.

According to the witness, the victim got back in the vehicle and told her that he would be all right, and to drive him home. Somewhere between Bogalusa and Lumberton, the victim died in the vehicle from the gunshot wounds, Knight said.