A man shot and killed while asleep in his bed in September may have been slain because he had previously identified his attacker as a suspect in a 2010 shooting, the victim’s wife told police.
Baton Rouge Police arrested Thadius Brothers, 25, on Wednesday and accused him of breaking into a home at 12363 Robbie Ave., on Sept. 30 and shooting Robert Winfield in the forehead, killing him while he was in bed asleep with his wife, East Baton Rouge Parish Prison booking records show.
Brothers, of 3003 Toronto Drive, was booked into Parish Prison on one count each of first-degree murder, aggravated burglary and illegal use of a weapon in the slaying of Winfield, 37.
Winfield’s wife, whose name was not provided, told detectives that her husband was killed because he talked to police about “recent shootings in the area and had identified Thadius Brothers as one of the shooters,” according to an arrest warrant.
Brothers was arrested in September 2010 and accused in the fatal shooting of 33-year-old David Mitchell on North Marque Ann Drive on Aug. 13, 2010, Parish Prison booking records show.
Brothers was accused of trying to rob Mitchell and then shooting him when Mitchell tried to get away, police said.
An East Baton Rouge Parish grand jury, however, did not find enough evidence to indict Brothers in the robbery and shooting.
East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore III said Thursday that his office could again pursue an indictment against Brothers if police find more evidence in the case.
Cpl. L’Jean McKneely, a police spokesman, said investigators are still looking into the possibility the two shootings are linked.
“We’re not necessarily saying that’s why (Winfield was shot), but we are checking it out,” McKneely said.
A judge will probably not set bail for Brothers in his Wednesday arrest because he was booked on a count of first-degree murder, Moore said.
“It’s up to the judge to set the bond,” Moore said.
Winfield was asleep in a duplex on Robbie Avenue when he was shot in the head around 3:30 a.m. on Sept. 30, police have said.
The couple’s son, 16, was asleep in another room of their home, police said.
At least five children were in the house at the time of the shooting, police have said.
Winfield’s wife told police she was awakened by the sound of a gunshot and saw someone in black clothing and a hood leaving her bedroom, according to the arrest warrant.
An unidentified witness, sleeping on the living-room couch of the Winfield home, saw Brothers as he was leaving the house and recognized him, the warrant says.
McKneely said Winfield’s wife and the witness are probably not in danger of retaliation, “but at the same time, we are going to do everything we can to protect the witnesses.”
Winfield’s home on Robbie Avenue appeared abandoned Thursday. A “for rent” sign had been placed in the front window.
Brothers was arrested in November 2005 and accused of being part of a group of eight or nine men who beat two people with “fists and bottles” during an argument at 12468 Warfield Ave.
During the fight, several shots were fired, striking Joshua Tyson, 21, in the arm and leg. He later died at LSU Earl K. Long Medical Center.
Brothers was also arrested in March 2010 for simple battery, according to an arrest warrant.
In that case, Brothers was accused of hitting a woman in the head and neck during an argument in February 2010, according to the warrant.
Brothers posted a $500 bond in that incident.