3 more arrests made in homicide case
Kirkland D. Craft
A 22-year-old Morgan City man was arrested Wednesday afternoon for second degree murder, and two others were arrested for accessory to second degree murder in connection with the death of Willie Francis, 23, of Bayou Vista, St. Mary Parish Sheriff Mark Hebert said in a news release.
—Kirkland Craft, 22, of the 1400 block of Railroad Avenue in Morgan City, was arrested at the St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office in Morgan City at 2:17 p.m. Wednesday for second degree murder.
—Priscilla Francis, 41, of the 300 block of Venus Street in Bayou Vista, was arrested at the St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office in Franklin at 3:45 p.m. Wednesday on a warrant for accessory to second degree murder.
—Autumn Alfred, 24, of the 300 block of Venus Street in Bayou Vista, was arrested at the St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office in Morgan City at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday on a warrant for accessory to second degree murder.
On Tuesday, a 15-year-old juvenile female was taken into custody for second degree murder. Because she is a juvenile, no additional information regarding her identity will be released.
On Oct. 29 at about 11:30 p.m., a sheriff’s deputy patrolling the Bayou Vista area located Francis’s vehicle on Highway 90 with the engine running. Concerned for his welfare because of the circumstances under which the vehicle was found, St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s detectives launched an investigation into Francis’s whereabouts.
At about 10:30 am on October 30, 2013, Berwick Police received a phone call regarding the discovery of a body along La. 182.
The St. Mary Parish Coroner identified the deceased as Willie Francis. According to the St. Mary Parish Coroner, Francis sustained multiple stab wounds. Working together with Berwick Police, St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s Office detectives determined through interviews and evidence gathered at the crime scene that Craft and the juvenile attacked Willie Francis on La.182 in Berwick stabbing the victim to death with a knife, Hebert said.
Craft had been arrested by Morgan City police at 10 a.m. Wednesday on warrants for theft less than $500 and failure to appear for contempt of court. Morgan City police picked Craft up from the Lafayette Police Department.
Craft was transferred from the Morgan City Police Department to the St. Mary Parish Sheriff's Office in Morgan City on the second degree murder charge.
The stabbings were corroborated by the suspects’ statements, Hebert said.
Priscilla Francis and Autumn Alfred both had knowledge of the crime, Hebert said. The motive behind the homicide remains under investigation. Evidence gathered at the location is being analyzed at the Acadiana Crime Lab.
There has been no information released to connect the Oct. 27 incident where Francis was assaulted with a firearm in Morgan City or the burglary in Patterson to Francis’ death, Hebert said.
This case remains under investigation. Anyone with information may contact the St. Mary Parish Sheriff's Office at 985-384-1622 or 337-828-1960 or Berwick Police Department at 985-384-7710.