Suspected New Iberia killer arrested in Houston

Amari Daniels (Source: Louisiana State Police)
Amari Daniels (Source: Louisiana State Police)
Akeam Daniels and the vehicle he may be driving (Source: Louisiana State Police)
Akeam Daniels and the vehicle he may be driving (Source: Louisiana State Police)

NEW IBERIA, LA (WAFB) - A suspect wanted in connection with the fatal shooting of a New Iberia man on Thursday night has been caught in Texas, according to the Iberia Parish Sheriff's Office.

Marshals with the U.S. Marshal's Violent Offender Task Force arrested Akeam Daniels, 26, of New Iberia, in Houston, Texas.

Daniels was wanted on the charge of second-degree murder for allegedly shooting Courtland Hall, 29, on March 1.

Two other men, Isaiah Johnson and Avan Francisco, who were believed to be with Daniels have turned themselves into detectives with the Iberia Parish Sheriff's Office.  They have been questioned and released.

Akeam Daniels is currently in the Harris County Jail awaiting extradition back to Iberia Parish.

Authorities issued an AMBER Alert late Thursday night because Daniels was thought to be with Daniels. The AMBER Alert was canceled early Friday morning law enforcement officials learned the baby was dropped off at a relative's home on Thursday night.

Officials say the baby is now with her mother, who is Daniels' girlfriend.

Hall was shot around 6:15 p.m. on March 1 in New Iberia when he stepped in during a dispute between Daniels and Hall's sister, according to the Iberia Parish Sheriff's Office. Investigators say the shooting appears to be domestic.

Initially, Daniels was thought to be traveling in a 1979 two-door Cadillac, but the vehicle was found Thursday night on Neco Town Road in New Iberia.

Daniels's mother, Geraldine Jones, said her son and Amari's mother were arguing over whether Jones could spend time with the baby.

"Akeam went to go get the grandbaby so I could visit with her and he asked Kennyisha if he could bring the baby by my house, she said, 'My *blank* baby ain't going over there,'" Jones explained. "My son slapped her and took the baby to come see me, visit."

Jones said Daniels told her he ran because Hall and his friends pulled a gun on him. She said when her son got word that Hall had been shot dead, he got scared and ran.

"That's the only reason he didn't go to the police station. He panicked and he was on probation," Jones added.

Maj. Wendell Rayborn with IPSO said detectives on the scene of the shooting have determined the victim, Hall, never had a gun.

"The only person who fired a gun, that we can tell at this time, was Akeam," Rayborn said.

As for the delay in establishing an AMBER Alert for the 2-month-old, Rayborn said it was not until later that they learned from witnesses that the child could be in danger.

"We didn't fear for the child's safety at that time when we tried to get all the info together. It just took time to get it together," he explained.

Criminal Background on Akeam Daniels

  • He was arrested in 2013 in connection with the shooting of his 8-year-old brother. He pleaded guilty to illegal use of a weapon.
  • In 2015, he pleaded guilty to illegal possession of a stolen firearm. He is still serving probation in that case.
  • In February 2018, he pleaded "not guilty" to misdemeanor domestic abuse battery. That case involved the same woman involved in the shooting on March 1, 2018.

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