St. Landry Parish grand jury returns indictment for man accused in kidnapping, rape and murder of Joyce Thomas


ST. LANDRY PARISH, La. (KLFY) A true bill of indictment has been returned against a man suspected in the kidnapping, rape and murder of a 72-year-old Opelousas woman.

Phillip DeWoody was booked into the St. Landry Parish Correctional on Aug. 20, 2020. (SLPSO)

Phillip DeWoody, 53, was named in two separate indictments Tuesday by a St. Landry Parish grand jury.

In the first indictment, DeWoody is being accused of first-degree rape, and aggravated kidnapping of Joyce Thomas.

In a second indictment, he is charged with the first degree murder of Thomas whose body was found, last February, in a wooded area off I-49 in St. Landry Parish.

State Police charged DeWoody with murder.

The St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office charged DeWoody with first-degree rape.

An indictment (True Bill) is a formal charge by a grand jury for the crimes indicated.

DeWoody will have an opportunity to plead his case before a grand jury in the 27th Judicial
District Court.

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