Three men accused in connected January 2018 killings were indicted Wednesday on obstruction of justice related to the murder cases.
A Lafayette grand jury formally charged Christopher Burns, 32; Dillyn Dugas, 24; and Tre’von Woods, 22, with a count each of felony obstruction of justice on Jan. 11, 2018, the same day the three men are accused in the deaths of 28-year-old Justin Zeno, of Lafayette, and 23-year-old Skylar Barry of Lake Charles, court records show.
The men are accused of tampering with evidence “with the specific intent of distorting the results of a criminal investigation of proceeding,” the indictment said.
Zeno’s body was found in a burning vehicle about 1 a.m. Jan. 12, 2018, in the 200 block of Belleau Street in Lafayette, and Barry’s body was found less than 12 hours later under a vacant house in the 100 block of Regal Drive in Broussard, according to previous Acadiana Advocate reports.
Former Lafayette Police Chief Toby Aguillard said in 2018 both victims were shot in Broussard before their bodies were disposed of in the locations they were found. The Lafayette and Broussard police departments jointly investigated the homicides.
Aguillard said the victims and suspects knew one another and burglary was suspected as a motive.
Police believe the men arranged to meet the night of the shootings. Several cellphones were recovered from Zeno’s burned vehicle, law enforcement said in arrest affidavits filed in the court record.
Burns, Dugas and Woods were apprehended in Radcliff, Kentucky, after a white Dodge Caliber was captured on video and connected to the shootings. The vehicle was registered in Kentucky to Burns’s girlfriend, the arrest affidavits said.
In the arrest affidavits, the arresting officer said Dugas informed law enforcement that he, Woods and Burns were together during the two homicides. Dugas told officers Woods was inside Zeno’s Infiniti when he heard gunshots. He said he later saw Woods in the driver’s seat of the Infiniti before the car was set on fire, the affidavits claim.
The affidavits also said Woods confessed to the killings in an interview after waiving his right to an attorney. The document said Woods told officers he shot Zeno then shot Barry as he attempted to run away from the vehicle, with a gun provided by Burns. No other details were provided about Barry’s killing or the disposal of his body.
After the shootings, officers said Woods confessed to sitting on top of Zeno’s body and following Mr. Burns in the Dodge Caliber to Lafayette, where he said Burns suggested torching the vehicle. Woods told officers Dugas, who was a passenger in the Dodge Caliber, provided him the lighter used to set the blaze, Dugas’s arrest affidavit said.
Burns and Woods were arrested in the homicides in early February 2018 after being extradited from Kentucky. Dugas was later charged in April 2018 after being extradited from Las Vegas, court records show.
Burns and Dugas made filings in their cases alleging the statements to police were made under duress or coercion. Burns requested in a motion the statements be thrown out; the motion was denied.
In February, a motion to sever was granted in Burns’s case, splitting his case from co-defendants Dugas and Woods. Burns’s attorney Valerie Gotch Garrett argued there were conflicting statements from the three defendants and it hindered Burns’s defense.
Staff writer Ben Myers contributed to this report.