After leaving federal pen, man accused of 1992 murder
BATON ROUGE - Authorities in East Baton Rouge charged a recently-released federal prisoner with a man's murder from 1992.
Deputies arrested 65-year-old Woodrow Harrell this week on charges of first degree murder, aggravated burglary, and criminal conspiracy.
Investigators said in the early 90s Harrell was selling marijuana when he was robbed, and he believed Noriega was behind the theft. In December 1992 deputies said Harrell hired two accomplices to help him rob Leonardo Noriega and get his money back. Detectives said Harrell and his accomplices tied up Noriega at his home, and the two men ransacked the house while Harrell smashed Noriega in the head with a pistol.
Authorities interviewed Harrell about the crime in 2012 while he was serving time in federal prison for a drug conviction. They said Harrell told them about the theft and decision to rob Noriega, but denied beating and torturing him.
Deputies said an autopsy showed Noriega died from massive blunt force trauma to his head, and that his skull had been crushed.
Investigators booked Harrell into the East Baton Rouge Parish jail. He has not been given a bond amount.
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