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Tuesday, October 21, 2014
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Judge: Enough evidence to proceed with charges in Iris Street apartment shooting

Last Modified: Friday, July 26, 2013 11:32 PM

By Johnathan Manning / American Press

A man killed at an Iris Street apartment complex in June died from a gunshot wound to the forehead, police said Wednesday in 14th Judicial District Court.

Franklin Fondel and Robert Yeadon, both with the Lake Charles Police Department, testified Friday during a preliminary exam to determine whether there was enough evidence to proceed with charges against Cody Ray Lucero, 18.

Lucero is charged with second-degree murder in the June 8 death of Edward Wilkes, 18.

Judge Clayton Davis ruled the evidence was sufficient to proceed with the charge.

Yeadon testified to what he saw when he arrived on the scene, and Fondel testified about the scene and apprehending Lucero in Kinder.

Fondel said detectives heard two versions of what happened in Apt. 206, Lucero’s unit.

A person who gave Lucero a ride to Kinder that night said Lucero claimed someone came through the window and he shot him, Fondel said.

Lucero told police he had the gun in his hand, Fondel said. Lucero said Wilkes kicked his knee and his finger hit the trigger; he said he then fled in panic.

Lucero did not tell police the shooting was in self-defense, Fondel said.

Wilkes and Lucero were both residents of the Iris Street apartment complex, Wilkes on the third floor and Lucero on the second.

Yeadon said that when he arrived at the apartments, Wilkes was lying on the floor of Lucero’s unit, bleeding from his head and struggling to breathe. Wilkes reportedly later died at a local hospital.

Both Yeadon and Fondel said the apartment was in disarray and had a broken rocking chair lying on top of the mattress. Yeadon said there was blood on the floor and on the mattress.

It appeared as though there had been “some type of struggle,” Yeadon said.

Yeadon and Fondel said Lucero was seen on the complex’s security cameras leaving the apartments.

Fondel said he arrived at the complex later because he had first gone to prepare a search warrant.

The video showed Lucero and Wilkes on the apartment complex’s second-story balcony around 10:40 p.m., Fondel said.

It showed Wilkes heading back to his third-story apartment, then returning shortly afterward, Fondel said.

At 11:02, a shoeless Lucero was seen running out of the apartment and heading toward Iris Street, he said.

A bullet casing was found in the corner of the apartment and a .25-caliber automatic handgun was found in an end table, Fondel said. He did not say whether it was the gun used to kill Wilkes.

Police first knew Lucero had gone to Kinder by his phone records, although his phone had been shut off around midnight, Fondel said.

Fondel said he also used phone records to contact a person whom Lucero had called before shutting his phone off.

The other person picked Lucero up at the Lake Charles Civic Center and took him to a motel in Kinder, Fondel said.

When Lucero came out of the motel and surrendered, he had a smile on his face and said, “I knew y’all would find me,” Fondel said.

The other person said he had given the gun to Lucero in May, Fondel said.

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