Man Convicted in Murder Near Central Middle School in Eunice, Louisiana
OPELOUSAS, La. (KPEL News) - A Eunice man is facing substantial time behind bars after a St. Landry Parish Grand Jury has convicted him in the November 2019 shooting of another man who was riding his bicycle in the street when he was shot to death.
According to KLFY.com, De’Omante Frank was riding his bicycle on East Maple Avenue when a vehicle pulled up and fired multiple shots. One of the bullets wounded Frank, causing him to die at the hospital. Because of how close the street runs near Central Middle School in Eunice, the school was placed on lockdown.
23-year-old Demyron L. Skinner, who at the time of the shooting was 19-years-old, was arrested within a week.
“The shooting appears to be a retaliatory gang action," said then-Eunice Police Chief Randy Fontenot to KLFY at the time. "Players in the investigation have histories of prior shootings in Eunice."
Skinner was indicted for Second Degree Murder but was convicted of manslaughter on Friday, April 14th. Manslaughter carries a charge of up to 40 years in prison. Skinner is scheduled to be sentenced on April 27, 2023.
We have reached out to St. Landry Parish District Attorney Chad Pitre's office for an update on Lainey Claire Lomas, who at the time was an 18-year-old student at Eunice High School. She was arrested over a week after Skinner was taken into custody on a charge of Accessory After the Fact to Second Degree Murder for allegedly driving the vehicle used in the shooting, according to our news partners at KATC. She was later indicted on that charge, which carries up to a 5-year prison sentence.
This is fourth homicide trial that has been completed by the St. Landry Parish District Attorney's Office in 2023. The DA's Office has had its hands full with all of the recent shootings and recently announced the addition of more full time felony prosecutors to combat serious crimes.
Let's look back at other homicide trials in 2023.
St. Landry Parish Grand Jury Finds Eunice Man Guilty in Ambush-style Shooting
OPELOUSAS, La. (KPEL News) March 31, 2023 - It only took a St. Landry Parish jury 15 minutes to find 36-year-old Leonard Miller guilty of killing Clarence Mitchell - both from Eunice - in April of 2022.
Son of Former Opelousas Police Chief Sentenced in Double Homicide
OPELOUSAS, La. (KPEL News) - JaMarcus McClendon has been sentenced to two life sentences for the brutal murders of 19-year-old Shawn Parish and 21-year-old Nakia Ramar Jr. - both of Opelousas. According to the St. Landry Parish District Attorney's Office, the murders happened just hours after Parish celebrated his birthday.
The court ordered that the two sentences be served consecutively without the benefit of parole, probation, or suspension of sentence.
19-year-old Shawn Parish and 21-year-old Nakia Ramar Jr. - both of Opelousas - were the two victims in the double homicide that happened in September of 2016. According to St. Landry Parish District Attorney Chad Pitre's office, JaMarcus McClendon used an AK-47 to shoot his victims multiple times during the early morning hours. He was found guilty of First Degree Murder.
"The challenge in this case was the sheer volume of evidence and the number of witnesses involved," said lead prosecutor Alisa Gothreaux.
"We promised the victims' families that we would bring these older murder cases to trial and that's what our team is doing," said Pitre.
In February of 2019, JaMarcus McClendon was indicted in the double homicide case. After getting out of court that during that time, police say he was attacked by a couple of members of one of the murder victim's family as he was being escorted out of the courthouse. According to our news partners at KATC, the two people received misdemeanor summonses for that altercation. Family members told KATC that the attack happened after McClendon allegedly made a comment to one of them.
For the record, Chief McClendon was not in office when JaMarcus was arrested. The elder McClendon did not get elected to police chief until 2018 after serving with the Opelousas Police Department for 27 years, according to the Advocate. He was then defeated in 2022.