Authorities say the man accused of murdering a Marrero woman before slashing his own throat and setting her Jutland Drive house on fire Monday already has a long history of arrests.
A warrant was issued Tuesday for the arrest of Melvin Brooks Jr., 53, on one count of second-degree murder in the death of Linda Honeycutt, 50, who was found on the floor of her burning house with multiple stab wounds to her chest.
Brooks was found in a nearby hallway, still alive and lying on top of a knife.
Honeycutt was pronounced dead at the scene. Brooks was in critical condition Tuesday at Interim LSU Hospital with burns and apparently self-inflicted wounds on his neck.
The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office said Brooks has a formidable list of prior arrests, including for aggravated rape, three counts of forcible rape, unauthorized entry, possession of cocaine, false imprisonment, criminal trespassing, disturbing the peace, simple battery, criminal damage to property and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.
Although the JPSO said Brooks was Honeycutt’s boyfriend, neighbors who saw Brooks’ photo said Tuesday that he was not the man they knew to be Honeycutt’s current boyfriend.
Patricia Aaron, who lives three houses down from Honeycutt’s house, said she had never seen the man in the photo before.
Her daughter, Makayla, agreed Brooks did not look like they man they often saw at Honeycutt’s house, but she said she thinks she saw him last Halloween standing on Honeycutt’s lawn, yelling at children for stepping on the grass.
The Aarons said they knew Honeycutt’s eldest daughter, who lived at her mother’s house with her own children, fairly well, but that Honeycutt tended to keep to herself.
Makayla Aaron said Honeycutt would sit in front of the house for Halloween and let trick-or-treating children pick out their own candy.
“She was very nice,” Patricia Aaron said.
“I know she was a good mother, and I know she was into her kids.”