A New Orleans barber accused of killing a Des Allemands mother whose body was found in a burned-out car in New Orleans East has been booked on one count of second-degree murder.
New Orleans police said Thayon Samson, 30, killed Lindsay Nichols, 31, in the early morning of June 21. Her body was found with multiple gunshot wounds in a burning car on a deserted stretch of Michoud Boulevard near Lake Forest Boulevard.
Authorities said a pair of blood-stained gym shorts found in Nichols’ car, as well as witness statements, tie Samson to the crime.
He was arrested Monday night, and a judge set his bail at $2.5 million Tuesday morning.
“I’m just glad they caught the monster,” said Jolene Dufrene, Nichols’ mother.
Assistant District Attorney Michael Henn, citing information from an arrest warrant, said Samson and Nichols had met in a nightclub on Downman Road in New Orleans East that night. She got Samson’s phone number and then left the club about 4 a.m.
Cellphone records show Nichols then called Samson twice a few minutes later.
Not long afterward, Nichols called 911. She told a dispatcher that a man she had met only once was outside her vehicle and was pointing a handgun at her.
As the call progressed, an irate man’s voice became audible, according to the warrant. The man was screaming at Nichols, accusing her of giving his address to someone else.
Witnesses and anonymous tipsters told authorities that Samson was seen standing over the open trunk of Nichols’ car at Lake Forest and Michoud boulevards about 7 a.m., Henn said.
Nichols’ body was later found in the trunk of the car. It was severely burned and was marked by several gunshot wounds.
During an interview with investigators, Samson acknowledged talking with Nichols at the club but claimed he then returned to his apartment and did not go anywhere else.
Authorities, however, were able to connect red gym shorts found in Nichols’ car to similar ones Samson was seen wearing on social media. Samson’s DNA matched specimens found on the shorts.
Samson has previous convictions for illegal carrying of a weapon in 2002, burglary in 2005 and being a felon carrying an illegal firearm in Jefferson Parish.
At the time of her death, Nichols had returned to the New Orleans area to visit family.
She had been working as a bookkeeper for a Texas construction company and had a 9-year-old son.
Her death came in the middle of a busy Father’s Day weekend for New Orleans police, who at the time also were investigating an Upper 9th Ward murder-suicide involving an officer’s parents, searching for accused cop killer Travis Boys and responding to the separate killings of an Avondale music promoter and a Navy veteran.