BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - A Baton Rouge family says their son was wrongly labeled a murderer, without a full investigation. They believe their son, Rouche Coleman, 38, was wrongly accused in a murder-suicide from June 2012. Now the family's attorney has asked for a federal investigation.
When detectives arrived at the home in question on Magazine Drive, they had questions. But by the time they left, they believed they had a clear picture of what happened the morning of June 8, 2012.
Early that morning Kesia Coleman had called 911, saying someone was in her house. Deputies arrived minutes later and surrounded her home and saw a man wearing gloves, who was identified as Rouche Coleman, exit the house and then go right back in.
On the 911 recordings, Kesia is heard telling the operator someone is in her house. The operator says it is the sheriff's office, Kesia is then heard saying, "No. Somebody is in my house. Somebody is in my house and they at the front door."
According to documents from the sheriff's office, Kesia Coleman moved to her home on Magazine Drive because she claimed Rouche Coleman had been breaking into her home in Livingston Parish. He was never arrested. The sheriff's office also found several restraining orders filed by Kesia against her estranged husband.
Back on the tape there is a loud scream, followed by a loud noise. Kesia is heard saying, "Rouche, what is wrong baby? What you mean? Rouche no, no. I'm gonna tell them to leave. Don't do nothing. What you doing? What you doing? This is my son what you doing?"
Deputies reported hearing gunshots outside the home. When they went inside, they found bullet casings. They also found Kesia Coleman and Rouche Coleman dead and Kesia's young son critically wounded.
"I don't understand how you don't question a child victim," said Larry Jarrett, the attorney of Rouche Coleman's family. "I don't understand that. The only one there that's alive that saw what happened."
The sheriff's office says they did question the boy and he named Rouche Coleman as the killer.
Jarrett says he was hired by the family to re-examine the facts.
"Rouche Coleman did not break in; Rouche Coleman did not kill himself. That's what we know," Jarrett, an attorney from Texas, said at a press conference.
According to reports from the sheriff's office, investigators noted after learning of the restraining orders filed by Kesia Coleman, they also learned Coleman had threatened her several times. Deputies noted two days before her death, on June 6, 2012, Rouche verbally told the victim he was going to kill her son. The victim texted this information to several family members, but never reported the incident to law enforcement.
Jarrett says they believe the recordings from the 911 call Kesia made was somehow manipulated because the call just ends. Jarrett says the operator never asks if anyone is still on the line and no one calls back.
They believe this is one example of an incomplete investigation by the sheriff's office.
Another, he says a DNA analysis of the murder weapon was ordered in December and then canceled.
"The East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office wanted to close a case. They made these very, very serious accusations that really sullied the name of not only Rouche Coleman but the entire Coleman family," Jarrett said.
A spokeswoman for the EBR Sheriff's Office says the department stands firmly by the investigation. Below is their statement.
The Sheriff's Office certainly has sympathy for a grieving family, and we understand when dealing with a crime such as a murder/suicide where a child was also shot is very difficult. Sheriff's Office detectives, administration, legal counsel and other agencies have gone above and beyond by meeting with the family to give them an opportunity to ask questions and express concerns. The Sheriff's Office, however, stands firm behind its investigation. We received a call from Kesia in which she identified Rouche Coleman, by name, as her intruder prior to his shooting her and her son. Deputies on scene had the residence surrounded when they witnessed Rouche exit the residence, wearing latex gloves, and attempt to flee. Deputies witnessed him go back inside the residence, heard gun shots, and SWAT made entry to find only the child, Kesia and Rouche inside. No one entered or exited the residence during the period deputies were on scene. Kesia identified Rouche by name while on the phone with deputies, and her juvenile son later identified Rouche as the attacker. The allegations made by the family of Rouche Coleman are unfortunate and completely unfounded.