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Man accused of killing La. bar owner arrested in Mississippi after high-speed chase

2 years 3 months 2 weeks ago Monday, March 07 2022 Mar 7, 2022 March 07, 2022 7:53 AM March 07, 2022 in News
Source: WBRZ

BOGALUSA - A man suspected of murdering a Louisiana bar owner was arrested over the weekend after a days-long crime spree that spanned two states.

The Washington Parish Sheriff's Office first shared surveillance images Friday showing the suspect inside the Pub Lounge, saying that the man seen in the photo was wanted for killing the bar's owner, Marl Wayne Smith. The sheriff's office said Smith was found dead inside the business Thursday. 

A day later, deputies learned their suspect, David Rester Jr., had been arrested by Mississippi law enforcement after a high-speed chase in Harrison County. Rester allegedly led officers on a chase down I-10, reaching speeds up to 120 mph after robbing a bank in Waveland.

Officers reportedly found evidence in Rester's possession at the time which tied him to the murder. He admitted to killing Smith while in custody.

Smith's friends told WWL-TV the bar owner made a point of hiring people who needed a helping hand, even helping some of his employees battle drug addiction.

“To see him taken so violently, that’s hard for all of us because that’s not how he lived his life at all,” said Misti McElveen, who worked at the bar sporadically for 14 years. “He lived his life for love, and he spread love all through Bogalusa.”

Rester is also facing charges in St. Tammany Parish, where he's accused of sexually assaulting and robbing a convenience store clerk just days before the killing in Bogalusa. 

Rester will be extradited to Washington Parish to face charges of first-degree murder and armed robbery. He also faces charges from St. Tammany Parish. 

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