The Louisiana Attorney General’s Office has been asked to step in and take over the investigation, and possible prosecution, in the shooting deaths of two brothers who were killed on Mother’s Day in which the suspected shooter is the 25-year-old son of the St. Gabriel police chief.
Angela Stewart, the mother of Dominique Dunbar, 26, and Rove Lodge, 30, asked that the case be turned over to state prosecutors, a letter from the District Attorney’s Office for the 18th Judicial District says.
Stewart did not respond to The Advocate’s request for comment Monday.
“She just thought it would work better for everyone involved if someone outside the parish had a chance to look at it,” Assistant District Attorney Scott Stassi said Monday. “We’ve referred some cases in the parish to the AG’s Office before. Sometimes a fresh set of eyes looking at something benefits things.”
Iberville Parish prosecutors were supposed to present the case to a grand jury on Tuesday at the request of Sheriff Brett Stassi, who thought he didn’t have enough evidence to arrest Kevin Ambeau Jr. on charges related to the shooting.
Scott Stassi, the sheriff’s brother, said the latest development likely would push back the case’s presentation to the grand jury by about a month.
“The AG’s Office will present it in the same manner we would,” Scott Stassi said. “When that will be will hinge on when their office is done reviewing everything.”
Around the time of the shooting, authorities said it appeared Ambeau Jr. was trying to defend his girlfriend’s home when he fatally shot the two brothers.
“When we started investigating this, I called State Police and had them send over two deputies just to look over my shoulder as we worked this thing,” the sheriff said Monday. “The more transparent an investigation is, the better.”
“I’m all for them looking into it,” Brett Stassi added. “I want them to talk to everyone involved, too. I’m looking for justice.”
Ambeau Jr. told authorities that the two brothers were trying to enter his girlfriend’s trailer to confront his cousin, who had gotten into two fistfights with the siblings, first at the Popingo gas station on La. 30 in St. Gabriel, then shortly afterward on Sixth Street.
Authorities say Ambeau Jr. had broken up the fight on Sixth Street and had taken his cousin to his girlfriend’s trailer after getting into a brief physical altercation with Lodge.
Ambeau Jr. told investigators that the two brothers and several friends followed them back to the trailer. He said Dunbar and Lodge were trying to enter the trailer through the back door when he shot them.
The sheriff said both Lodge and Ambeau Jr. had guns.
But a conflicting account of the incident was given to police by the girlfriend of another brother who said the two victims were trying to get clarity regarding several messages Ambeau Jr.’s cousin had posted on social media when they were shot and killed.
The victims’ family have said before that they fear the investigation wouldn’t be fair because of the connections Ambeau Jr.’s father has with Iberville authorities.
St. Gabriel Police Chief Kevin Ambeau Sr. said in prepared statement Monday that the evidence and facts of the case will not change regardless of what agency handles the case.
“I will wait on the case to be presented to the grand jury, and just like any other parent, I will have to accept the decision,” he wrote. “I love my son very much and as a father, I will not be involved in any manner whatsoever in this case.”
Follow Terry Jones on Twitter, @tjonesreporter.