Thursday’s arrest of a New Orleans man in a double homicide in Donaldsonville may, one family member hopes, provide investigators enough clues to find four other people believed involved in the Jan. 26 shooting deaths of Chad Nichols and Benny Booker.
“It opens the door,” Nichols’ stepfather, Donaldsonville attorney Marvin Gros, said Friday of the arrest of Quinton Jackson. “Things will start moving. … It’s not a conviction yet, but it means a lot more information.”
Security video taken that day shows a vehicle with four people speeding along with Booker’s stolen car, driven by a single driver, through Donaldsonville, away from Nichols’ street.
The Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office homicide squad “will continue to concentrate their efforts on identifying others that are responsible for the double murder,” Sheriff Jeff Wiley said in a news release Friday.
Jackson, 26, of 7815 Sand St., New Orleans, was arrested Thursday and booked into Ascension Parish Jail on two counts of first-degree murder, Wiley said.
New Orleans police officers and agents with the U.S. Marshals Service picked up Jackson at his home in New Orleans East on Thursday, said Garry Flot, New Orleans police spokesman. Jackson was transported to the Ascension Parish Jail in Donaldsonville that night, Wiley said.
On Jan. 26, at close to 3:30 p.m., Nichols, 37, was gunned down and killed in his front yard at 178 Latino St., a quiet street off La. 308 lined with large lots and neat homes and trailer homes.
Booker, a 29-year-old Prairieville man who had worked in the pressure-washing business that Nichols had started a few months earlier, was found shot in the doorway of Nichols’ home and was rushed to a nearby hospital, where he died a short time later.
The crime scene investigation findings suggest a drug-related crime, with the possible motive of robbery, after heroin was found in Nichols’ home, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
The now seven-month investigation pointed early on to a possible New Orleans connection.
Booker’s vehicle, a 2007 white Dodge Magnum stolen from Nichols’ driveway at the time of the homicide, was later found in the New Orleans area after it was set on fire.
Shell casings recovered from the double-homicide scene were examined by the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab and New Orleans Police Crime Lab and linked the weapon used in the double shooting in Donaldsonville to four shootings in New Orleans between 2011 and 2013.
Jackson had been arrested on two previous occasions for armed robbery in New Orleans, Wiley said.
Jackson apparently hadn’t been out of jail long when the killings took place in Donaldsonville.
Documents with the Orleans Parish Criminal District Court show that he pleaded guilty to two counts of armed robbery in March 2005 and was sentenced to 10 years at hard labor without benefit of probation, parole or suspension.
On the day of the double homicide, a second vehicle that appears to be a 2006-2011 white, four-door, Series 3 BMW was captured on surveillance video, traveling with the stolen Magnum, speeding through Donaldsonville away from Latino Street.
The video shows four people in the BMW and one in the stolen Magnum.
The BMW hasn’t been located. It had a temporary tag in the rear window and a dealership logo tag where the license plate usually is; the logo tag possibly has blue lettering and a design similar to an American flag, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Gros said Nichols’ son, Cade, 14, who lives with his mother in Harahan, will begin high school this fall. He misses his father greatly, Gros said.
Gros also said the family has been touched by the support and concern shown to them.
“Everybody in the community has been so good to us,” he said.
Anyone with information on the case is asked to call the Ascension Parish Sheriff’s Office at (225) 621-4636, text 847411 or call Crime Stoppers at (225) 344-7867.
New Orleans Advocate staff writer Jim Mustian and Advocate staff writer David Mitchell contributed to this story.