Murder suspect held without bail

BAYOU VISTA, La. -- The Bayou Vista man charged with first degree murder in the death of an 18-year-old man made his first appearance in the 16th Judicial District Court Wednesday, where a judge ordered him to be held without bail.

Charles Douglas Chandler II, 21, of Sun Road in Bayou Vista, who was charged with first degree murder in the death of Wade Blackburn, 18, of Bayou Vista, appeared before Judge Edward M. Leonard Jr. Wednesday. Leonard ordered Chandler to be held without bail. Chandler does not have any other court dates set at this time, according to a St. Mary Parish Clerk of Court’s Office employee.

Blackburn was found unresponsive Monday morning after St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s deputies responded around 12:45 a.m. to a report of gunshots fired on Columbus Avenue in Bayou Vista.

Blackburn was pronounced dead at the scene by the St. Mary Parish coroner.

Chandler was arrested Monday on a warrant for first degree murder and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

Based on witness statements, St. Mary Parish Sheriff’s detectives developed Chandler as a suspect in the shooting, according to Sheriff Mark Hebert. Detectives secured and executed a search warrant for Chandler’s residence. Evidence believed to be related to the homicide was recovered, including a gun, Hebert stated. Narcotics detectives assisting in the search located marijuana, drug paraphernalia, pills, and counterfeit money.

During the investigation, an observant citizen alerted deputies of a man who was hiding behind a vehicle near the Sun Road residence. The deputies identified the man as Chandler and as they approached the vehicle, Chandler fled on foot, Hebert stated. Deputies gave chase, apprehending Chandler a short distance away.

Chandler also was charged with possession of marijuana third offense, possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a firearm in the presence of a controlled dangerous substance, monetary instrument abuse and possession of a legend drug without a prescription (Fioricet).

Chandler is being held in the St. Mary Parish Jail.

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