Suspect arrested for murder of man found in vacant home

Jeremy Brown, suspect in the murder of Shaun Hartley
Jeremy Brown, suspect in the murder of Shaun Hartley

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - An arrest has been made in connection to the murder of 31-year-old Shaun Hartley, who was found beaten to death in a vacant house in Baton Rouge.

Police say Hartley was found in the 2600 block of Wenonah St. around 12:40 p.m. Thursday, September 12, 2013. Wenonah Street is between Plank Road and I-110.

Reports say that Hartley appears to have been beaten with a large object, "but the exact cause of death is unknown pending autopsy results."

Police have arrested 28-year-old Jeremy Brown. Police say Brown and Hartley had some type of argument before the murder.

A neighbor says Hartley was from around his neighborhood and knew that half of the duplex had recently become vacant.  He says Hartley and another man allegedly spent the night there together and around 8:30 Thursday morning, he saw the man walk in with the 2 by 4, but didn't have it when he came out.

Hartley's aunt Juanita Washington believes Hartley was murdered to keep him quiet. Hartley was a witness to a murder that happened in March. Washington says Hartley asked police for protection.

"We expected the system to protect him, not to just use him for information," said Washington.

Washington said her nephew was never the violent type.

"I know he didn't fight back while he was being brutally beat to death. He was probably was crying for help," said Washington.

Washington says the family is thrilled knowing her nephew's accused killer is locked up.

"It means a lot because we weren't letting go. We were going to be constantly pressing this issue and getting the word out and just praying for justice for Shaun. I don't feel like he deserved what he got. We loved him, no matter what. Till the end of the day, we're happy. We're hoping that this person can be trialed and convicted for the murder of Shaun Hartley," Washington said.

Brown is being charged with second degree murder and is being booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison.

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