Murder warrants issued in death of Harvey handyman

Posted on Feb 3, 2010 in Local Issues


By Allen Powell II, The Times Picayune
February 02, 2010, 4:00PM

The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office is searching for two men in connection with the murder of a Harvey handyman inside his home Friday, and have already arrested a woman they believe was involved in the incident.

Terrol Cole.jpgTerrol ColeInvestigators have issued first-degree murder arrest warrants for Terrol Cole, 27, of Port Allen, and Darnell Turner, 23, of 3000 Destrehan Avenue in Harvey in connection with the killing of Donald Bates inside his home in the 2200 block of Eastmere Boulevard on Friday, said Col. John Fortunato, a sheriff’s spokesman.

Investigators arrested Rhonda Skinner, 39, of 917 Beechgrove Boulevard near Westwego on Saturday, and booked her with second degree murder and obstruction of justice.

Bates, 53, was found shot to death inside the home after police responded to a report from his wife after she returned to the house and found the door ajar and blood on the walls and floor. Investigators said that after Bates was killed, someone stole his white work van, which was later found burned in Marrero.

Fortunato said authorities believe Skinner helped Turner and Cole plan a robbery of Bates, and she called the victim shortly before the incident was about to take place. Authorities were able to locate her after they learned of that call, and she told them about Turner and Cole’s role in the incident, he said. She said the robbery turned into a homicide for an unknown reason, and that Cole and Turner beat Bates before shooting him.

Darnell Turner.jpgDarnell TurnerBates’ home was ransacked when deputies arrived and there was clear evidence of a struggle. There was blood smeared on the floor and walls, furniture had been tossed around the room and destroyed, and a baseball bat covered in blood was found in a rear bedroom, according a police report. Investigators also located numerous.38 caliber bullets and shell casings of the same caliber in the home.

Fortunato only identified Skinner as an “acquaintance” of Bates. Turner and Cole both have lengthy arrest records. Turner actually stood trial for second degree murder in 2003, but was acquitted. 

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