Four arrests made after investigation into LSU student's death; rape charges filed
UPDATE: Two of the suspects, Casen Carver and Everett Lee, have been released on bond. Read the latest here.
BATON ROUGE – Multiple people have been arrested on rape charges by the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office amid an investigation into the death of 19-year-old LSU student Madi Brooks, the WBRZ Investigative Unit learned Monday.
Sources said a 17-year-old was first booked into the East Baton Rouge Parish juvenile detention center Sunday on a count of third-degree rape.
An 18-year-old man, identified as Kaivon Washington, was booked on Monday, along with Casen Carver, also 18. Washington faces charges of third-degree rape; Carver was booked as a principal to third-degree rape.
A fourth suspect, 28-year-old Everett Lee, is identified as the uncle of Washington and is also booked as a principal to third-degree rape.
According to state law, third-degree rape in Louisiana occurs “when the victim is incapable of resisting or of understanding the nature of the act by reason of a stupor or abnormal condition of mind produced by an intoxicating agent or any cause and the offender knew or should have known of the victim's incapacity.”
Brooks' blood-alcohol level was .319 percent at the time, according to arrest documents. That's nearly four times the legal driving limit for an adult.
In a conversation shortly before his surrender, Washington told WBRZ’s Chris Nakamoto that he had sex with Brooks before she died. Washington said it was consensual.
Washington said he, the other suspects and Brooks left Reggie’s — a bar in Tigerland — early Sunday, Jan. 15, after a night of heavy drinking. He said he and another teen had sex with Brooks in the backseat of a vehicle.
Carver and Lee were in the front seat, according to arrest records.
Washington said Brooks later asked to go home. They brought her back to where she told them she wanted to be dropped off, near the Pelican Lakes subdivision off of Burbank Drive.
Washington said Brooks gave them multiple different addresses before she got out of the car. She was killed a short time later after she wandered into the middle of Burbank. The driver who hit her was not arrested and is not suspected of being impaired.
The NAACP is working with prominent Baton Rouge attorneys representing two of the suspects, saying there is video evidence refuting allegations that Brooks was raped.
Sources said detectives with the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office showed up at the suspects’ homes this weekend.
On Tuesday, a judge assigned bonds to all three adult suspects under the stipulation that they remain under house arrest and wear ankle monitors. Carver is being held on a $50,000 bond. Lee is held on a $75,000 bond, and Washington is held on a $150,000 bond.
Sources told WBRZ on Tuesday that the 17-year-old's court hearing was pushed back to next month, meaning he'll sit in juvenile jail for weeks.
LSU University President William Tate released the following statement Monday.
Dear LSU Community,
This afternoon, police arrested four individuals following an investigation into the events preceding the death of LSU student Madison Brooks, who was struck by a vehicle on Burbank Drive last week.
Madison was a daughter, a granddaughter, a sister, a niece, a classmate, and a friend to many of you. By all accounts, she was an amazing young woman with limitless potential. She should not have been taken from us in this way. What happened to her was evil, and our legal system will parcel out justice.
Our collective grief and outrage cannot be put into mere words. So what can we do? It is time for action. One place to target our attention is the very place where this encounter began.
All but one of the suspects involved in this horrific scenario were underage yet were able to consume alcohol at a local bar. As such, our action plan starts with a deep and relentless focus on any establishment that profits off our students by providing alcohol to underage individuals. In the coming days, we will call a meeting with these business owners to discuss how their responsibilities directly impact the safety of our students. We will work openly against any business that doesn’t join us in efforts toward creating a safer environment for our students. Enough is enough.
Real and long-lasting solutions require multiple strategies, so we will not stop there. That is why I am asking our entire Baton Rouge community, from business leaders to citizens, to work together and join us in this effort. We will share additional action items in the coming days, but for now please join me in keeping Madison’s family in our thoughts and prayers.