Deputies arrest 15-year-old in connection with murders of 2 men in Natalbany

Deputies arrest 15-year-old in connection with murders of 2 men in Natalbany

NATALBANY, LA (WAFB) - The Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office has announced that they have made an arrest in connection with the shooting deaths of two men in Natalbany.

Sheriff's deputies arrested a 15-year-old male in connection with the shooting deaths of 24-year-old Charleston Mitchell and 31-year-old Randy Bickham on June 2.

Detectives believe that the shooting deaths of Mitchell and Bickham, as well as the shooting death of 18-year-old Marquise Lightfoot, are connected. They also believe that the cases are drug-related.

"Everybody is on the edge of their seats wondering if it's going to be their child next keeping their children in the houses, trying not to let them play outside like they normally would," said Marquise's mother, Diane Lightfoot, breaking her silence Thursday.

Diane Lightfoot said her son was a great kid with a bright future ahead. Unfortunately, she said he witnessed the double murders just the day before he was shot dead.

"He just turned 18 years old. He had scholarships out of Houston. He was in the magnet school, pre-medical. He had hopes and dreams of being a doctor," Lightfoot said.

She said she always taught Marquise to do the right thing. In this case, she said he was planning to go to the police, but his life was cut short.

"I have to live with that for the rest of my life that he did the right thing and he was murdered for it," Lightfoot said.

"It looks like it was set up to be a robbery and it just turned into a double homicide," said Sheriff Daniel Edwards.

He said a 15-year-old has been arrested in connection to the double murder. The teen is charged with two counts of first-degree murder. [endif]

Edwards said there is no doubt in his mind that the district attorney's office will charge the 15-year-old as an adult.

"We do not have an arrest in Lightfoot's murder, but again, the cases are proceeding well," Edwards said.. "We are getting information. A ton of physical evidence has been collected and a lot of it, most of it is pending at the State Police Crime Lab."

Details about the investigation are limited at this time, but detectives do say that future arrests are imminent.

Diane Lightfoot said when her son's killer is arrested, she wants him to know not only did he rob him of ever becoming a father and her a grandmother, but they have also stolen from her family's peace and quiet.

"His little brother, Marquise's younger brother is getting death threats now. The minute they see him, they're going to kill him and if they don't see him, they're going to come by here and shoot the house and that jeopardizes everybody," Lightfoot said.

Edwards said they are still looking for information in the shooting death of Lightfoot. There is a $5,000 reward for information that leads to the arrest of the person or persons responsible.

There is also a $5,000 reward offered for information that leads to additional arrests in the deaths of Mitchell and Bickham.

Anyone with information about the shootings is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-554-5245.

A funeral will be held for Marquise Lightfoot on Saturday. The family is asking for any donations. Anyone who would like to help out can go to any First Guarantee Bank location in Louisiana and make a deposit for the account of Monica Haynes.

Copyright 2016 WAFB. All rights reserved.