Federal authorities in New Orleans have charged a third suspect in the May 31 slaying of a Loomis armored truck crew member in Mid-City.
Armstead Kieffer, 53, was arrested Thursday in connection with the slaying of James McBride, 33, during an attempted robbery outside the Campus Federal Credit Union on Tulane Avenue, according to the New Orleans field office of the FBI, which investigates bank-related robberies.
The feds alleged in a nine-page criminal complaint unsealed Friday that Kieffer served as a lookout for his son, Jerome Kieffer, and Deltoine Scott on the day of the killing.
Jerome Kieffer and Scott had already been charged in the case.
Court records show a man named Armstead Kieffer pleaded guilty in 2001 to bank fraud charges in New Orleans, received a six-year prison sentence and was accused later of failing to pay restitution as he had been ordered to do.
McBride and a co-worker were attacked by two masked gunmen about 4:30 p.m. May 31 as they serviced ATMs outside the credit union. The co-worker, Kearan Dean, exchanged gunfire with the robbers, but McBride was killed.
The robbers fled in a distinctive black-and-white truck, authorities have said. There is no indication they got away with any money, and authorities have characterized the deadly ambush as an attempted robbery.
That night, New Orleans police stopped Scott's grandfather as he was driving the alleged getaway truck, and he told them that his grandson had borrowed the vehicle earlier in the day.
An analysis of cellphone records then suggested Scott spoke with Jerome Kieffer as he drove the truck from New Orleans East — where Scott's grandfather lives — to Mid-City, according to the feds. Unspecified surveillance video footage also shows the truck following Jerome Kieffer's silver Infiniti FX35 in the hours ahead of the robbery, authorities have said.
Federal investigators say Scott and Jerome Kieffer, former McDonogh 35 High schoolmates, then went to a fourth-floor apartment that Kieffer had rented a month before the shooting, with a view overlooking Campus Federal's ATMs. McBride was fatally shot a few hours later.
The federal criminal complaint said cellphone records show Armstead Kieffer spoke with Jerome Kieffer just before the robbery attempt began.
Further, it said, surveillance video suggests a red Nissan Sentra tied to Armstead Kieffer was parked across from the ATMs prior to the robbery. That Sentra was seen leaving the area immediately after the holdup and shooting, the feds said.
Additionally, court papers allege that Jerome Kieffer was captured on video watching the Loomis employees service Campus Federal's ATMs on two consecutive Wednesdays before McBride's killing, which also occurred on a Wednesday.
Scott was jailed in early June. Jerome Kieffer was arrested July 6 after a federal grand jury indicted both him and Scott on charges that can carry the death penalty. Armstead Kieffer, too, is accused of a crime that can lead to execution.
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