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Family of slain three-year-old furious after key evidence may have been squandered

7 months 2 weeks 3 days ago Saturday, July 08 2023 Jul 8, 2023 July 08, 2023 9:04 PM July 08, 2023 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE- A 41-page filing from District Attorney Hillar Moore shows that a possible major development in the killing of Devin Page Jr. may have been wasted after an ankle monitoring company failed to track an accused killer.

The DA's office says that person was a minor named Johnny Brown. Roughly two months after Devin Page Jr. was shot and killed back in April of 2022, Brown was pulled over. At the traffic stop, police recovered a gun that was linked to the shootout where Devin was killed last year on Fairfields Avenue. That gun is not believed to have fired the shot that killed the toddler.

Despite Brown having possession of that gun, nobody can prove the minor was at the shootout the night Devin was killed. Why? Well, court documents show the ankle monitoring company tasked with tracking Brown has no data of his whereabouts from April 11 to April 23 of last year. Page Jr. was killed April 12.

Hillar Moore tells WBRZ this could be a huge missed opportunity in the case.

"This would have been an extremely huge investigative lead that detectives could have followed up on," Moore told WBRZ.

The family of Devin Page spoke exclusively with WBRZ Saturday, telling us these new details of squandered evidence are infuriating. 

"I'm pissed," Tye Toliver, Devin's mom, told WBRZ. "I have had rage about this since it started," Toliver added.

Cathy Toliver, Devin's grandmother, shared her daughters anger as well.

"I believe if we had tracked that and stayed on top of it, I think something would have come out of it. But now, we don't know how this is going to turn out," Cathy said.

The DA says they will schedule a hearing with the ankle monitoring company to find if there are any records as to where Brown was the night Devin was killed.

"There is a chance that maybe there was a record of where this person was at the time of the shooting. Or it's going to say that his battery was dead and there was no way to track him, which would be the worst case scenario," Moore told WBRZ.

Even if there is, police then would have to catch Brown in order to question him.

Currently, Brown is out on bond for a second degree murder charge. Moore is hoping to revoke that bond.

But Moore, just like the Toliver's, are holding onto hope that this development could be a key piece of evidence to find Devin's killer.

"We want answers as to where he (Brown) was because that was one of the weapons used that night the young child was killed. And obviously his family wants answers and so does the community," Moore said.

An already frustrated Cathy Toliver says the idea of a minor killing her grandson would make the situation more infuriating.

"I'm going to blow a gasket, because I am going to want to know where are the parents? Where is the guardian of that child?" Toliver said.

The investigation into Devin's killing is still ongoing.

As for the issues with ankle monitoring companies, Moore says it is a problem that he continues to see in East Baton Rouge Parish. He hopes a new piece of legislation that the Governor is expected to sign Tuesday will better regulate these companies.

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