MARY MEAUX — 2021 came with many sad stories, some still unsolved
Published 12:03 am Thursday, December 30, 2021
As 2021 comes to a close I usually take a look back at the homicides in the local cities; it kinda comes with the territory as a crime reporter (among other beats).
Some have been solved with an arrest made while others are unsolved.
- Port Arthur’s first killing of 2021 happened with the shooting death of Terrel Delaney Willis, 30.
The Port Arthur man was killed May 7 in the 700 block of West Procter Street.
The area he was found is somewhat secluded with mostly vacant lots, a tall chain link fence topped with barbed wire though police did not reveal the exact location Willis was located.
His death remains unsolved.
- Three local people lost their lives on May 20 when an alleged drunk driver struck their vehicle.
Danny “Dani” Nichols Jr., 32, L’Amberia Mc’Daniel, 35, and her daughter Eriana Washington, 14, were killed when a Dodge truck driven by Chance Glynn Craddock collided with the passenger car driven by McDaniel carrying the three and a young child. The young child sustained non-life-threatening injuries.
Craddock, a resident of Rusk County, was charged with three counts of intoxication manslaughter and initially jailed on $1.5 million in bonds. His bond was later lowered to $225,000 for each case for a total $675,000. He bonded out of jail July 14, according to an official with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.
- On May 27 came the shooting death of Steven Allen Summerville, 32, at Avery Trace Apartments, 4140 FM 365.
Summerville had been shot several times and was brought to a local hospital where he later died from his injuries.
Authorities believe the shooting was not random and that a verbal altercation turned physical then turned deadly.
Marcarius Jarvis Gerard, 26, was arrested in connection with the killing. He remains in the Jefferson County Correctional Facility of a $1.5 million bond.
- Another killing came on Aug. 10 at a home in the 2200 block of 17th Street with the fatal shooting of Lonnie Scott, 54.
A person called police about suspicious activity after reportedly seeing a black male wearing a red and blue cap, gray hoodie and blue jean shorts running through his neighbor’s yard. Police stopped short of calling the person witnessed by a neighbor a suspect, but added police would like to speak with him.
Preliminary autopsy findings show Scott died from two gunshot wounds to the head fired from medium range, according to information from Jefferson County Justice of the Peace Pct. 2 Marc DeRouen.
No arrests have been made in the death of Scott.
- Derrick Wayne “Tee Bird” Pitre, 56, was outside Speedy Stop at 600 West Gulfway Drive with another man when a third man opened fire on Aug. 16. Both men were struck and Pitre was unresponsive when officials arrived. He was paralyzed an unable to be interviewed. He died Aug.25 at Christus St. Elizabeth Hospital in Beaumont from his injuries.
A man believed to be the shooter identified as Deon Patrick Williams, 22, was arrested and charged in the killing. Williams, now 23, remains in the Jefferson County Correctional Facility on a $750,000 bond for murder and two $500,000 bonds for aggravated assault.
- Ronald Frazier, 31, was fatally shot outside Wing Stop, 8445 Memorial Blvd. on Aug. 25. He died from a single gunshot wound to his upper-left chest area.
His girlfriend Brittany Nicole Tims, 26, allegedly told police Frazier had the handgun and it went off accidentally hitting him in the chest. A witness reportedly told police a different story saying the victim was standing in the doorway but not inside the vehicle on the passenger side of the car when the gun went off and that he didn’t accidentally shoot himself.
Police founds body in front of a GMC Yukon that had several young children and Tims inside.
She was later arrested and charged in the crime. She remains in the county jail on a $100,000 bond.
- Another killing in the city was the death of Madison Martinez.
Martinez, 27, of Port Arthur died after allegedly being thrown from a truck on Oct. 15. She was found in the area of Lake Arthur Drive and Ninth Avenue with life threatening injuries and was unresponsive.
She died the following day from his injuries.
On Nov. 10, an arrest warrant for manslaughter was issued for Lonnie Rogers, 48, of Nederland. He was taken not custody without incident shortly after the warrant as issued, police said.
Rogers remains in the county jail on a $500,000 bond for the manslaughter charge.
The body of Janice Summer Ross, 30, was found Nov. 29 on the North Levee Road on Pleasure Island. A preliminary autopsy did not indicate the case of death, according to DeRouen and authorities are waiting on a toxicology screen.
Port Arthur police are calling her death suspicious.
Ross was known in the Beaumont community, according to her family, and a cousin believes her body was dumped on the island.
No arrests have been made nor a determination if the death is a homicide or not.
On Dec. 29, Jacobi Rubin, 22, of Port Arthur was killed after being shot multiple times while near Liberty Avenue and Thomas Boulevard.
The death came after a large group of people exchanged gunfire. Neighbors told Port Arthur Newsmedia of hearing about 15 gunshots from a nearby house and police said the shooting took place in the street.
A second man, identified as Stephen Angelle, 21, was also injured in the shooting and was brought to a hospital by private vehicle. He was later determined to be the person who allegedly shot Rubin and was arrested and charged with murder. He remains in the county jail on a$750,000 bond.
There are a number of unsolved deaths listed here. If you have information about any of them you can call Crime Stoppers of Southeast Texas at 409-833-TIPS. You won’t be asked your name and you may be eligible for a cash reward. You can also make an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers by downloading the P3 Tips app on your smartphone.
Mary Meaux is a news reporter at The Port Arthur News. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org