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Man accused of killing, burying roommate had previous, non-violent arrests

3 years 2 days 16 hours ago May 20, 2014 May 20, 2014 Tuesday, May 20 2014 May 20, 2014 9:34 PM in News
Source: WBRZ
By: Russell Jones

BATON ROUGE - Police said they arrested a Baton Rouge man after they found he'd murdered his roommate and buried him in a garden.

Investigators arrested Douglas Studeman, 54, Tuesday on suspicion of killing Chester Oakley, 77, at Oakley's residence in the Alvin Dark area. Oakley's family said Studeman did odd jobs for him.

"He did a lot of work for him and stuff around the yard and helped my grandfather out, and my grandfather would pay him a little bit of money here and there," said Ryan Varendoe, Oakley's grandson. "Then Doug got some trouble and went to jail... well he didn't have nowhere to live when he got out of jail, so my grandfather, kind-hearted as he is, trying to help him out."

Varendoe said they hadn't heard from Oakley and contacted police to put out a missing person's report. He said the family members went into Oakley's home to look around, and noticed some blood spots and a bucket of bleach with a rag in it.

"It don't make sense, it's insane honestly you've got to be a cold hearted person to do something like that," Varendoe said. "I hope justice will be served."

Investigators said they found Oakley's body buried in the garden outside the home. They said Studeman got into a fight with Oakley, hitting and killing him with a blunt object before taking several items from the home.

Investigators charged Studeman with first degree murder and armed robbery before booking him into the parish prison.

Officers had not been called to the residence where the murder happened for issues between the two men before, police added.  But, Studeman had been arrested before for non-violent offenses. He was released from jail about two months ago.

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