Chance encounter puts accused killer in driver's seat for parading politicians
BATON ROUGE – Kevin Dukes, the businessman accused of murdering a man who owed him money this week, spent the Saturday before the murder chauffeuring politicians through a community Christmas parade.
Dukes drove constable candidate Terrica Williams in the Gus Young Christmas parade Saturday. Williams was joined by unnamed members of the Baton Rouge mayor's staff. Williams said the city workers joined her but could not provide names of the staffers.
WBRZ obtained a picture of Williams and others in the backseat of Duke’s convertible, waving as they rode in the parade.
Williams told WBRZ late Thursday, she only met Duke ahead of the parade when she randomly asked him if he would drive her after her planned driver and vehicle canceled.
“People ride in parades all the time; I ride in parades all the time,” Williams said about trusting a stranger to drive her and the other guests.
She said it did not seem weird to have flagged down Dukes, who she reiterated she did not know, to participate. She said she recalled their chance encounter after seeing Dukes on the news following his arrest.
Deputies said Dukes killed Julius Thomas, 55, earlier this week because Thomas owed him money. Detectives believe Dukes, in an attempt to dispose of Thomas’ body, dropped the tarp-wrapped remains in a South Flannery neighborhood.
The murder happened Tuesday, authorities said. Dukes was arrested Wednesday.
WBRZ obtained the picture from the parade Thursday.
Williams was emphatic she did not know Dukes before the parade, and only asked him to participate when she saw he had a convertible large enough for her and her entourage.
Williams said her original driver’s car was in the shop with body work and canceled at the last minute. She feared she’d miss the parade when she flagged down Dukes to drive the crew.
The original driver, WBRZ learned after confirming his name through Williams, was arrested in April on sex crimes involving a close family member.
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