DNA evidence recovered from a rental car found near the scene of a deadly shooting in Gentilly last year has led police to lock up a 24-year-old man on suspicion of murder.
Investigators on Monday booked Jermaine Toussaint on a count of second-degree in the March 23 slaying of Anthony Kelly in the 5000 block of Louisa Street.
According to court records, police were told Kelly's then-unidentified killer left a Ford Fusion belonging to Enterprise Rental Car Company in the parking lot of Mary D. Coghill Elementary School in the 4600 block of Mirabeau Avenue, around the corner from where the victim was found shot to death.
The person who rented the car then told investigators Toussaint had the vehicle at the time Kelly was gunned down. Police searching the vehicle found credit cards in Toussaint's name, and a swab of DNA taken from the car's steering wheel matched Toussaint's DNA profile, the court records said.
An unidentified "concerned citizen" also allegedly reached out to the lead detective on the case, Nicholas Williams, and said Toussaint had been seen carrying a gun and driving the Fusion on the same day Kelly was killed.
Another piece of evidence that police cited as justification for Toussaint's arrest: so-called Croc shoes. A pair of Crocs were found near spent bullet casings and a gun recovered near Kelly's body, and police alleged Toussaint was known to where those shoes at his unidentified workplace. Toussaint also missed a scheduled work shift on the day of the killing, court records said.
Williams secured a warrant to arrest Toussaint on Jan. 3. Police ultimately captured him in the 7800 block of Chef Menteur Highway in New Orleans East. He faces mandatory life imprisonment if eventually convicted of murder.
Toussaint and 23-year-old Nakia Harris were arrested June 4 after police stopped them while they rode an allegedly stolen car at the corner of South Jefferson Davis Parkway and Martin Luther King Boulevard in Gert Town. Prosecutors later refused to pursue charges against both men. Authorities didn't say if that car was the one involved in the Kelly case.
New Orleans police are seeking two “persons of interest” they believe have information in a fatal shooting that occurred in Gentilly last week.