A convicted felon who authorities said fled a failed drug deal earlier this month in Donaldsonville surrendered Thursday and is a potential witness in a June 2013 slaying over another failed drug transaction in Geismar.
Jyrah J. Bringier, 22, 128 Elizabeth St., Donaldsonville, also has been separately accused of bribing the victim in a March 2013 shooting in which his father, Charles Murphy Ealem, is the accused shooter, prosecutors said.
Assistant District Attorney Joni Buquoi said Bringier is accused of trying to keep the victim, who survived the shooting, from testifying in Ealem’s attempted second-degree murder trial.
Judge Thomas Kliebert Jr., of the 23rd Judicial District, declared a mistrial in Ealem’s case April 30 after the victim refused to testify, according to court minutes. That case is still pending.
“He runs in the group that is menacing the public in Donaldsonville,” Ascension Parish Sheriff Chief Deputy Tony Bacala said Wednesday evening while Bringier was still at large.
Despite the run-ins with the judicial system, though, Bringier had been legally a free man while out on probation for a felony drug conviction and on bail for the public bribery charge until the alleged Sept. 8 drug transaction on Elizabeth Street in Donaldsonville caught sheriff’s narcotics agents’ attention. Revocation of his probation was pending, however.
His attorney, Travis Turner, said Bringier surrendered to sheriff’s deputies about 11:30 a.m. Thursday.
“He was right there in Donaldsonville. It’s not like he was somewhere else hiding,” Turner said.
Bringier was booked into the Parish Prison on a single count of possession of a firearm by convicted felon. He was awaiting the setting of bail Thursday evening.
In letting the public know about Bringier on Tuesday and why he was wanted, deputies said the convicted felon ran from a suspected drug deal when sheriff’s narcotics detective approached.
Deputies said Bringier discarded a handgun in a nearby parked vehicle as he fled. Bacala, in the statement Thursday, said deputies later found the gun.
Bringier’s felony conviction is for attempted possession of codeine and was part of a plea agreement in the slaying of Bernard Solomon in Geismar last year.
Solomon, who was facing a second-degree murder count in a 2011 slaying in Donaldsonville, was shot June 5, 2013, during an alleged deal in Geismar for liquid cough medicine containing codeine, also known as “lean.”
Deputies have said Solomon pulled a handgun on the man trying to sell him “lean,” and the man, Ledell Maxwell, 38, 3644 Dalton St., Baton Rouge, pulled out a gun and shot Solomon.
Bringier, who rode with Solomon and others from Donaldsonville to Geismar for the drug deal, received a 2½- year suspended prison sentence and was given four years of supervised probation in late February for the attempted codeine possession conviction, court minutes show.
Deputies initially had arrested Bringier in June 2013 on a first-degree murder count, along with at least four other men, but prosecutors dropped his count to armed robbery after determining Maxwell shot Bringier.
Buquoi said she did not feel there was sufficient evidence for the armed robbery count against Bringier and, as a part of his plea on the drug count, he has agreed to testify for prosecutors as have other convicted defendants in the case.
The manslaughter count against Maxwell is pending.
Follow David J. Mitchell on Twitter at @NewsieDave.