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Unprecedented murder trial unfolds in New Roads as officials seek to deter gang activity

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NEW ROADS - Prosecutors in Pointe Coupee Parish are trying a racketeering case; it's the first of its kind there.

"Governor Landry was elected by the people of the parish with crime as one of his main things he wants to target, and I'm just following the governor's mandate," District Attorney Tony Clayton said. This is the first trial out of the boot since he's taken office [that's] taking down gang activity."

Thursday marked day two of witness testimony in a racketeering case.

Five men, including 20-year-old Tyler Breaux, 23-year-old Tyzontae Davis, 21-year-old Nicholas Johnson, and 24-year-old Marlon Jones, face second degree murder charges. 23-year-old Dequan Johnson also faces charges, but waived his right to a trial by jury. The judge will render the verdict in his case.

The five men are accused of shooting and killing 43-year-old Eugene Jarreau III in his New Roads home on January 21, 2021. Jarreau was shot more than a dozen times.

"You will see they surrounded the house and blocked him in," Clayton said. "You will see the planning of it, you will see how the entire crime unfolded in this trial."

Clayton says the men are in a gang called "Young and Reckless", which are becoming a problem in the area.

"We have some kids that want to call themselves gangs," Pointe Coupee Sheriff Rene Thibodeaux said.

Recently, Clayton's office has started to take a new approach, and officials hope this case will send a message that gangs will be prosecuted.

"Putting a gang member or a gang in jail will send out a message, if that's what it's going to mean," Thibodeaux said.

The trial is expected to last two weeks.

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