Double Murder Suspect in Custody

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This is a developing story. Additional information will be provided in future stories.

In a press conference at the Ferguson Community Center this afternoon, Ferguson Police Chief Frank McCall disclosed that the suspect in the double homicide on Bahama Court is now in custody in Texas. Lavelle D. Hayes, who received 3 years of probation on three felony domestic assault charges connected to an incident in 2020, is accused of murdering his estranged girlfriend and her uncle, while she was attempting to break up with him. Ferguson officers are traveling to Texas to take custody of the suspect.

The police department also reported significant progress in hiring. Seven candidates interviewed in the past two weeks, a significant increase over recent months, during which the department has struggled to attract candidates. The department is eight officers short of full staffing authorization.

Nicolle Barton, the consent decree coordinator, indicated that the department was preparing to offer its own anti-bias field training. The training offered by the St. Louis County Police Academy does not meet the requirements of the consent decree. She also reported positive results from a series of public meetings, held via Zoom.

Finally, Mayor Jones spoke, emphasizing that “Police don’t stop crime, people do.” When asked to elaborate, she indicated that residents could install Ring doorbells, and watch their cameras to see who is walking on their street, and anonymously contact the police department with that information.