The mother of two suspects sought in a Memorial Day triple homicide that left a toddler dead helped her sons flee by booking them a hotel room in Texas, police said Wednesday.
Latoya Coleman, 36, was among three people booked into jail Tuesday in connection to the killings: two adults, one teenager.
Their arrests came eight days after the shooting, which happened during a pool party at a College Drive apartment complex.
The toddler was not an intended target, police say; she was gunned down while playing in the water and later died in the hospital. A teenager and an adult victim were lying in lounge chairs when the two brothers shot them, according to police. Both were pronounced dead on the scene.
Authorities continue to search for Coleman's two sons, who are among six people wanted or arrested in the May 31 killing — four of them accomplices.
More details about how detectives are piecing together the case emerged Wednesday morning in police reports and during a juvenile court hearing.
The identities of the two suspected shooters have not been released, though police said one is a juvenile. Authorities say they found Coleman at her Baton Rouge home and took her into custody Tuesday, but were unable to locate her sons.
There are no details in her arrest report about what happened between when she booked a hotel room in Humble, Texas, on June 3 and when police took her into custody Tuesday. She was booked on two counts of accessory after the fact to first-degree murder.
Police started focusing on her sons after speaking with another family member. That person described getting a phone call from one son right after the shooting, saying he and his brother had just fatally shot two men, police say.
He "shot one in the head and his brother shot the other," the suspect told the family member, a police report says.
The second adult suspect arrested Tuesday is Christopher Stovall, 23, who was booked on three counts of principal to first-degree murder and illegal use of a weapon.
He was one of several male suspects who entered the pool area of the College Drive apartment just before the shooting, then fled right after, according to police. Stovall was identified by a witness who picked him out of a lineup.
The group also stole assault-style rifles from both victims after they were gunned down, according to police reports. Video surveillance shows the suspects leaving the scene in a car belonging to a woman living at the complex who has cooperated with investigators.
The third suspect arrested Tuesday is a 15-year-old. He was booked into juvenile detention on three counts of principal to first-degree murder and illegal use of weapon.
The boy appeared in juvenile court Wednesday morning for a detention hearing, where a public defender was appointed to represent him. The attorney immediately asked to delay the hearing for 30 days to give investigators more time to review the case. A judge granted the request and rescheduled the hearing to July 19, when both sides will argue whether the suspect should remain in custody until the case is decided.
Prosecutors have not decided whether to pursue the case in adult court, which is an option because of the gravity of the charges and the suspect's age, officials said.
His mother and father also appeared in court Wednesday morning. His mom struggled to keep from crying when she walked into the courtroom and saw her son dressed in an orange jumpsuit sitting before the judge. The parents briefly hugged their child before he was escorted back into juvenile detention, where he will remain for at least the next month.
While juvenile court records are sealed from the public, police said the teen in custody is not accused of pulling the trigger, though he was present when the shooting occurred.
BRPD Chief Murphy Paul said during a Tuesday press conference that his detectives have been working around the clock to solve the case, which rocked the Baton Rouge community last week and contributed to an already unprecedented murder rate.
The triple homicide took place around 8 p.m. on Memorial Day, when gunshots rang out by the pool of Fairway View Apartments.
Dwayne Dunn Jr., 16, and his friend Reginald Thomas, 20, were pronounced dead on the spot. The toddler, year-old Ja'Tyri Brown, was struck by gunfire while swimming and later died at the hospital — just a few months before her second birthday.