Two black males who were arrested for allegedly murdering a handyman may face hate crime charges after one admitted that they were seeking to kill a white person, according to police.
23-year-old Tahj Matthews and 25-year-old Maurice Holmes were arrested on April 11 and charged with the first-degree murder of 66-year-old Lawrence Herr the day before in the city of Kenner, Louisiana.
Herr was working as a handyman when he was fatally shot in the back while installing a mailbox. An autopsy found that Herr had been shot once through the back and that the bullet exited out of his chest.
Police said they were able to identify the suspect's vehicle, a silver Mercedes, only three hours after the shooting.
On Tuesday, during a hearing with Holmes and Matthews, a detective revealed a possible motive for the shooting. He said that they had confessed that they had "wanted to kill a white person."
Kenner Police Chief Keith Conley said that they were able to track the vehicle through license plate reader cameras.
"This was a textbook crime apprehension," Conley explained. "I am proud of the work of our detectives and police who pieced together the evidence and followed its trail to take dangerous criminals off our streets."
He told WWL-TV that they could face hate crime charges in addition to the murder charges.
Conley issued a warning to other would-be murderers.
"Let this serve as a message to anyone who considers terrorizing this city or its people that the Kenner PD will be relentless until we bring a criminal to justice," Conley said. "This was a heinous drive-by assassination of a kind, caring man who was helping other. We were determined to end the rage of these criminals before they could target anyone else."
He added that he would push for the death penalty if a court upheld the charges of first-degree murder.
Here's a local news report about the incident:
Suspects in Kenner killing could face hate crime chargeswww.youtube.com
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