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Victim becomes king

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BATON ROUGE - The victim in a cold case murder will be the face of the Spanish Town Mardi Gras festivities next year.

Shelby Holmes was shot and killed a few blocks from his home in Old South Baton Rouge in October 2013.  Wedneday, the Society for Preservation of Lagniappe in Louisiana announced Holmes will posthumously reign as the 2015 Spanish Town Mardi Gras king.

"Everybody said, 'hey that's a great idea.'  So we're going to recognize Shelby Holmes as the king," board member Doug Cossman said.

Cossman and Holmes had been friends since the 1980's and Cossman owes his life to his friend today.  After Holmes' murder, his family donated Holmes' kidney to Cossman. The two were a perfect match.

"This is all possible because of Shelby. There is a sadness to it but he wouldn't have wanted that," Cossman said.

"The list of kings for this thing; Edwin Edwards, the mayor, I mean a lot of people have been king of this Spanish Town Ball," Holmes' life-long friend Carl Dunn said. "To have my friend recognized like that is a special thing."

Dunn believes Holmes would have humbly taken the honor of king. Holmes attended the ball for many years.

Holmes' friends and family hope this honor will convince someone who knows something about the murder to come forward.

"We all want to keep this story alive and maybe this will soften the killer's heart and maybe come out, finally.  Out to confess or somebody might know who actually did this and come out and say something," Dunn said.

"I'm just disappointed that it's after the fact," Cossman said, "that he can't be riding through the parade, waving to everybody and everything because he'd eat it up.  He'd make a wonderful king."

Holmes is the first person to receive this honor after death.

The Spanish Town Mardi Gras Ball will be held at the River Center on Jan. 31st, which is also Holmes' birthday.



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