ARNAUDVILLE, La. (KLFY).– An Arnaudville man has been arrested and charged with attempted murder while on a missionary trip in Liberia. The victim, a Liberian woman, said he tried to kill her by slitting her throat.
The church that sponsored the mission trip says the alleged victim was the man’s bigamous second wife.
On Sept. 14, a Facebook post from Creekside Church in Urbandale, Iowa asked for prayers for Lucas Richard, a missionary the church supported while he and his wife Lois Ann Richard served in Liberia. The church said they received a message from his wife saying he was attacked and robbed.
After the post, Creekside received backlash due to news of Richard being arrested for allegedly trying to kill Jessica Lloyd, a Liberian woman.
Liberia’s Ministry of Justice confirmed Richard’s arrest in a statement after the Liberia National Police arrested him on allegations of criminal attempt to commit murder and aggravated assault.
During their investigation, Richard told Liberian Police he and Lloyd were attacked by people on motorbikes after he took her to the market.
Richard told police Lloyd was hit by a motorbike causing her to fall in a ditch leaving her with lacerations on her neck, head and fingers. Investigators said Lloyd was taken to a hospital where she alleged Richard was the one who slit her throat. Richard was taken into police custody and is currently being held at the Monrovia Central Prison where he is awaiting trial.
News 10 reached out to Creekside Church about their support of Richard, and they told us in a statement:
“On September 14th, Creekside was made aware of a situation involving one of the missionaries we support, Lucas Richard, in Liberia. The information we received from his wife, who was serving with him in Liberia, was that Lucas was attacked and robbed, so we posted an urgent prayer request for our congregation.
News later broke that Lucas had been incarcerated and accused of the attempted murder and aggravated assault of a Liberian girl, Jessica Lloyd. He maintains his innocence.
Lucas is not a member of Creekside, but of a church in Liberia which he founded consisting of its own board of elders and accountability structure.
Our social media post calling for prayer made it seem to the Liberian community that we are insensitive to the victim and appearing to defend the accused, and by extension dismiss his charges. This was not the case. Prayer is our first priority when confronted with a situation such as this. The church is sensitive to Jessica, who also accuses Lucas Richard of perpetrating the act. For her sake and in light of our relationship with the Richards, it is always our obligation to seek the truth, a task made more difficult considering that the eyewitness accounts are radically different. We trust the legal system in Liberia to find the truth and render justice regarding the allegations.
Sadly, we have confirmed today through an eyewitness from Liberia that Lucas had in fact entered into a 2nd marriage with Jessica, which neither we nor his wife had any prior knowledge of. While there are many points of allegations we cannot confirm, since the extramarital relationship has been verified, this alone makes Lucas ineligible to represent our church or receive our support.
We are continuing to work with the State Department, contacts in Liberia, and others to seek both truth and justice. Please continue to join us in prayer for all involved.”