UPDATE 2/2/2023, 2:40 p.m.: McClendon was found guilty on both counts of first-degree murder.
According to the St. Landry Parish District Attorney Chad Pitre, McClendon was found guilty “for the ambush-style killing of Nakia Ramer, 19 and Shawn Parish, 21 during the early morning hours of September 24, 2016.”
Lead prosecutor Alisa Gothreaux said that “the challenge in this case was the sheer volume of evidence and the number of witnesses involved.”
Pitre added, “we promised the victims’ families that we would bring these older murder cases to trial and that’s what our team is doing.”
ORIGINAL: OPELOUSAS, La. (KLFY) The double murder trial for JaMarcus McClendon has reached closing arguments Wednesday.
McClendon, son of former Opelousas Police Chief Martin McClendon, was arrested in May, 2017 on two charges of first-degree murder following the 2016 death of Nakia Ramer, 19 and Shawn Parish, 21.
When McClendon was named the suspect in the murder, he was surrendered to the Opelousas Police Department by his father.
Tensions could be felt throughout the courtroom Wednesday as the hearing continued with closing arguments from both the prosecutors and the defense, which was followed by a rebuttal from the prosecutors.
Closing arguments included reviewing witness testimonies from throughout the week, and looking at phone records to find out when calls were made and from whom on the night of the shooting; even looking at maps that detail where the calls were made.
Prosecutors believe they have supplied sufficient evidence that prove McClendon was at the scene when the shooting occurred, while the defense says evidence supplied has relied heavily on hypothetical circumstances, especially since many witnesses were under the influence the night of the murders.
Following closing arguments, the jury was adjourned for the evening with the plan to receive their assignment to reach a verdict Thursday morning.