Sheriff: Scorned lover murdered, burned ex's father
BATON ROUGE - EBRSO detectives arrested a man suspected in the December 2016 break-in, robbery, murder and arson of his ex-girlfriend’s father.
James Henry Rivers, 34, was charged with first degree murder, second degree robbery, false imprisonment, simple Arson, simple burglary of an inhabited dwelling and obstruction of justice.
Rivers is accused of breaking into the victim's home, binding him with wire, stealing his cell phone and dog and causing injuries that resulted in his death.
It's believed that he set fire to the victim’s home to destroy the evidence following the murder, according to the Sheriff's Office.
The Louisiana State Police Crime Lab identified the victim as 54-year-old David Allen.
An autopsy conducted by the EBR Coroner’s office revealed Allen's wrists were tied with wire and his death was a result of blunt force injuries.
Detectives contacted Allen's daughter who told authorities that she was in a romantic relationship with Rivers for about two years prior to her father's death.
She also informed authorities that Rivers had been mentally and physically abusive, according to the Sheriff's Office. She said Rivers also committed various property crimes against the her, and threatened to kill her if she broke up with him, EBRSO said.
Allen's daughter and Rivers lived together in Pride, LA until the night before the homicide, according to the Sheriff's Office.
The daughter said she ended the relationship on Dec. 30, 2016. She discarded a cell phone, she believed Rivers was using to track her, at her father's home, EBRSO said.
Detectives believe that Rivers then went to Allen's home looking for his daughter.
Allen's daughter said she received multiple messages from Rivers on a social media account on the night of Friday, Dec. 30, 2016. One message contained a picture of Allen's bedroom, according to the Sheriff's Office.
A second message contained a picture of the Allen's dog, EBRSO said.
Rivers later admitted to Allen's daughter that he went to the home and stole the dog in attempt to make contact with her, according to the Sheriff's Office.
Rivers released the dog in a motel parking lot where the daughter was staying.
Homicide detectives apprehended Rivers in a parking lot in the 7200 block of Winbourne Ave. He will be transported and booked into parish prison on the aforementioned charges.