~ Butch Sonnier ~

Richard “Butch” Sonnier

20 year old, black male, Jennings resident.

February 9, 1993 was found in Bayou Lacassine located west of Lake Arthur.  Died from severe blows to head and face.

Victim’s body was found by fishermen near a bridge referred to as “Party Bridge”  Was wearing socks but no shoes.  Also had on gold nugget ring.  Authorities believe the body was discarded 3-4 days prior to being found.

No arrests to date.

LE believes motive was drug-related.  Based on a tip from person who knew a man that claimed to be responsible for Sonnier’s murder a search warrant was issued on an unamed suspect’s Lake Arthur residence three months after victim found.  Baseball bat (believed to be murder weapon), several bloodstained items, and vehicle allegedly used to transport body were seized from the suspect’s residence.

2003 DNA testing was not conclusive enough to obtain a conviction.

Additional information which may be of interest is that Butch’s brother, Mason Sonnier, was shot in the arm during an incident (12/10/08) that resulted in Derrick Jackson’s death.   A cousin to Butch and Mason Sonnier, Kenny Harmon, was found dead 11/19/09. His body was discovered pinned under a truck in a ditch near LA1126 & South Main. Authorities believe Harmon had been shot also.


~ Kenneth “Rat” Trahan ~

Submitted on 2009/02/26 at 6:08pm

Some have questioned the connection between these killings.  It is reported that Loretta Chaisson was in the residence and witnessed the abduction of Kenneth “Rat” Trahan by his killers. She was later murdered. Rat Trahan’s murder remains unsolved but how many people even refer to this seemingly professional killing? Who was Rat Trahan poised to make trouble for? To whom did he owe a substantial debt? Who could have testified to his abduction and murder? Who would want desperately to eliminate a witness to his abduction for murder? Who has made enormous money from the cocaine (and general drug) epidemic in Jeff Davis Parish? Why are no real drug dealers ever caught while the tremendous appetite for drugs remains satisfied? Why does the drug dealing and murder go on as the perpetrators operate with obvious impunity?

~ Shelia Comeaux ~

There is also another unsolved female homicide in Jennings. I believe it took place in March 1999. When I asked Kirk Menard, over on the Websleuths forum, if he was familiar with the murder of Shelia Comeaux, this is what he had to say: Continue reading

~ Shelia Comeaux (Updated 10/26/09)~

Submitted on 2009/02/26 at 8:11pm

Shelia Comeaux had indeed been beaten and left for dead. She had been wired by police and reportedly had obtained evidence against one or more individuals that were not intended to be caught, according to sources. Ms. Comeaux was able to penetrate the drug scene because of her association and thus, she was seen as a value to one office law enforcement. At the time, it is reported that there was a battle between corrupted Jennings city officials and corrupted parish officials as to who would dominate the area cocaine market and Ms. Comeaux was caught between the two entities by the evidence that she acquired. Continue reading

~ Butch Sonnier ~

Submitted on 2009/02/26 at 9:25pm

Butch Sonnier was killed at a residence in Lake Arthur. He was beaten to death with a bat and the body was dumped at a bridge south of Welsh after being further mutilated. The killer(s) were questioned, the house was covered in blood residue, the bat had tissue remnants, etc., etc., etc., No conviction was possible. Mike Conner was chief of police for the town of Lake Arthur. He and the prime suspects, Terry Scoper and Ray LaBauve, were very close associates – we remember Mike Conner – he’s the former deputy that used to live with the celebrated gay judge from Jennings, Walter Peters. Conner was also part of the Dateline investigation into our sheriff’s department’s misdeeds and corruption during the cocaine carnival time of Jeff Davis Parish history. Anyway, Scoper’s sister was also a prime suspect in another Lake Arthur murder years earlier – yet another murder that went unsolved or at least not prosecuted.