When Homicide Detective Gregory Johnson arrived on the porch of a house near the old Desire projects early Tuesday morning, he found a dead man, two open beer cans, a kitchen knife and a woman named Shamira Menendez whose clothes were soaked in blood.
Menendez told one cop that she was inside when her relative, identified by Coroner Jeffrey Rouse as Derrick Green, 38, was stabbed to death on the family’s front porch. But police now believe a very different story: that cousin killed cousin, blood on blood.
Menendez, 37, is a housekeeper at a Mid-City hotel and mother to six children aged 9 to 21. According to an arrest warrant, when a Fifth District detective arrived at the house where Green was killed in the 3000 block of Clouet Street around 1 a.m., Menendez told the investigator that she had seen Green staggering on the porch, saying that someone had stabbed him.
Police discovered, however, that there was no blood trail leading to the sidewalk where some unknown attacker might have vanished. Instead they found a kitchen knife covered with blood, on the same porch where Green was found dead.
Menendez also made another suspicious move. In an incident captured on one officer’s body camera video, Johnson wrote in the warrant, she stepped onto the kitchen knife and then tried to move it. Then she left the murder scene, only returning later after being located.
Aunts inside the house, the same residence where Green lived, told Det. Johnson that the entire family had been out on the porch earlier in the night. After the aunts went inside the house to sleep, Menendez came running in to say that Green had been stabbed.
The knife that appeared to be used in the killing was of the same brand kept in the family’s kitchen. Between the inconsistencies in Menendez’s story and the fact that her clothes were covered in blood, Johnson concluded that she was likely responsible for the killing. He had her booked on one count of second degree murder.
Menedez has prior convictions in Orleans Parish for possession of crack cocaine and passing bad checks, but no violent felony convictions. An arrest warrant made no mention of a possible motive.
“They got along real well,” said Menendez’s mother, Marie Bercy. “I have no understanding what happened.”
Her bond was set at $400,000.