A dispute sparked by a request to move a pair of motorcycles led to Monday’s double killing at an apartment complex off Morrison Road in New Orleans East, according to an arrest warrant for the accused shooter’s longtime girlfriend.
Vernon Lewis and Daniel Millon, both 24, were talking with someone in an upstairs unit of the Hidden Lake Apartments in the 7000 block of Martin Drive about 7 p.m. when ground-floor tenant Gilda Woodridge knocked “and asked if (they) could move their motorcycles, which were parked in front of (her) residence door,” New Orleans police Detective Jana Thompson wrote in the warrant affidavit, citing at least one witness’ account.
Lewis and Millon agreed, and they all walked downstairs, where 33-year-old Ahmad Rainey started a brief argument with the two men, Thompson wrote.
Rainey then went inside the apartment he shares with Woodridge, emerged “with a large firearm and began firing in the direction of Lewis and Millon, fatally striking them,” the warrant states.
When police arrived, they found Lewis and Millon lying beside the motorcycles. Emergency personnel pronounced them dead 13 minutes later.
Rainey surrendered Thursday and was booked on two counts of first-degree murder. He was being held Friday without bail.
Woodridge, 27, turned herself in Wednesday and was booked on two counts of being a principal to murder, along with a charge of criminal damage to property.
Her attorney, Robert Toale, labeled her arrest “a travesty of justice.”
According to police, Woodridge has declined to cooperate. “I’ve told her not to,” Toale said.
He said the couple have four young children.
Magistrate Commissioner Juana Lombard set bail for Woodridge at $701,000.
State law defines a principal to a crime as someone “concerned in the commission of a crime, whether present or absent, and whether they directly commit the act constituting the offense, aid and abet in its commission, or directly or indirectly counsel or procure another to commit the crime.”
The warrant application justifies Woodridge’s arrest based on her identification in a photo lineup “as being the person that knocked on the door and lured the victims out of the residence to move their bikes, as well as the fact she never notified police to assist the victim.”
Thompson did not say why Woodridge is suspected of “luring” the two victims, aside from the deadly outcome.
Woodridge’s criminal history in Orleans Parish includes a guilty plea in 2012 to aggravated assault and simple battery charges. She received a six-month suspended sentence, intensive probation and $559 in fines, court records show.
The District Attorney’s Office refused a charge of disturbing the peace from a July 2009 arrest, and she was once charged with avoiding payment of her cable bill, a criminal count that carries a maximum six-month sentence. The charge was dropped on the day of trial, records show.
Rainey appears to have no criminal convictions in Orleans Parish, according to online court records.
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