Prosecutors accused the alleged leader of a violent Baton Rouge drug ring Tuesday of burglarizing an associate's home and taking a pillowcase full of money just hours after the man's killing in September 2017.
No arrests have been made in that slaying.
The bill of information filed Tuesday against Martrell Harris and two others for simple burglary, a felony, came less than a week after an East Baton Rouge Parish grand jury found insufficient evidence to indict him in two separate 2017 killings.
The suspected ringleader of a major drug trafficking organization based in Baton Rouge has again avoided serious criminal charges and signific…
One of those killings occurred Sept. 8, 2017, the same day Harold Anthony was slain and his Greenwell Springs home was burglarized.
Harris, 43, was arrested in March on two counts of first-degree murder, accused of hiring a hitman to carry out the April 22, 2017, killing of Lorenzo Dixon — a local rapper who performed under the stage name Zoe Realla — and the Sept. 8, 2017, slaying of David Walker.
Walker, 68, was killed just hours after witnessing a double murder next-door to his house in Old South Baton Rouge. The double homicide claimed the lives of Anthony, 36, and Donovan Cummings, 49.
Anthony and Cummings were repairing a flooded and burned home on Thomas H. Delpit Drive when they were chased and gunned down, police have said.
Walker turned up dead in his car in front of a Seneca Street home later that day. His house was destroyed in an overnight arson that weekend.
No arrests have been made in those killings.
Police say a man suspected of being the leader of a local drug trafficking organization ordered multiple killings in East Baton Rouge Parish.
Harris, of Spring, Texas, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to the simple burglary charge involving Anthony's home. State District Judge Kelly Balfour scheduled a motion hearing for Oct. 14.
"We'll file a motion for a preliminary hearing and try to persuade the judge that there's insufficient evidence to proceed with the prosecution," Jim Boren, one of Harris' attorneys, said outside the courtroom. Kathryn Jakuback Burke also represents Harris.
Harris's co-defendants, Delita Jolla, 39, and Larry Smith, 52, both of Baton Rouge, have not yet been arraigned.
East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore III said neither Harris nor his two co-defendants in the burglary have been arrested in connection with Harold Anthony’s murder, which remains under investigation.
An arrest warrant filed in the burglary case says surveillance footage shows Jolla, who was Anthony's ex-girlfriend, and two Black men later identified as Harris and Smith entering Anthony's home on Sept. 8, 2017.
The footage shows Smith, armed with a crowbar, and Harris walk to the back of the home, and then Harris "rapidly exits" through the front door with an unknown object that he did not have when he entered, the warrant states.
The documents say "multiple sources have told investigators that the item removed by Harris was, in fact, a pillow case full of money."
Zac Woodring, a Baton Rouge detective who obtained the surveillance video, also confirmed through those same sources that Anthony "was involved in large-scale narcotics trafficking with Martrell Harris," the warrant says.
Simple burglary is punishable by up to a year in prison.
East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore III said last week that various law enforcement agencies are still investigating the homicides. If detectives uncover substantial new evidence, the grand jury would reconvene and re-evaluate the case.
Dexter Collins, the alleged hitman in the slayings of Dixon and Walker, was arrested last year but later released without charges, also because of insufficient evidence.
Collins was accused of accepting money and drugs in exchange for committing the murders.