Tuesday, January 27, 2009

March 24, 2002 (how it all started)

On Sunday, March 24, 2002, Charles Stevens visited his mother in her home in Covington, Louisiana from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. He drove his Dodge Intrepid to his apartment in Metarie, Louisiana, a 45 minute drive. Stevens phoned his mother every day and visited at least once a month. His mother, Lucille Thompson, called him from 6:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. without an answer. She called his apartment several times over the next couple of days. He never answered. On that Tuesday, March 26, 2002, she called his employer, who said that Stevens had not shown up for work Monday or Tuesday. Later that day, she went to his apartment to check on him. His car was not there. With the help of the apartment manager and an air conditioning technician, she opened his apartment to find a very hot, messy apartment that smelled stale. The stove and the heater were both on and Thompson and the technician turned them off. That's when they found him, in the livingroom, sitting on a chair, covered with a sheet. His body was black and swollen, clothed in a bathrobe, with a rope around his neck.

The car was reported stolen. The rope, the bedsheet, a pair of women's underwear, three cigarette butts, and pictures of a man dressed in women's clothing were collected as evidence. The cigarette butts were tested for DNA.

On Thursday, March 28, 2002, I arrived home from job hunting. My mother told me that my brother, Patrick, had called and asked if I would cut his hair. She told him to come by later and she was sure I would do that. He never showed up.

At approximately 11 a.m., on that very date, Patrick was arrested by the Lafayette Police Department at the TravelHost South Motel on the Northeast Evangeline Thruway.

On October 24, 2002, Patrick was charged with second degree murder. He pleaded not guilty the next day. From May 3 to May 7, 2004, he was tried by a jury that returned a unanimous guilty verdict.

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