A Shreveport man whose trials for violent acts were to have begun in a few days pleaded guilty to the charges in Caddo District Court Monday, July 29, 2019.
Jeremy Xavier Rachal, 28, was to have gone on trial in District Judge John D. Mosely Jr.’s court August 5, 2019, but instead pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, for a slaying that occurred in May 2015, and to aggravated battery for an attack on a Caddo Sheriff’s deputy that occurred while he was incarcerated.
Rachal (dockets 333082 and 345348) was arrested in connection with a slaying and arson on May 11, 2015. Police responded to the 8200 block of Wildbriar in reference to an apartment, No. 716, being on fire. On arrival authorities discovered the body of Jed Howard, who had been shot in the head. The victim’s black Saturn was missing.
Police obtained surveillance video that showed an individual driving Howard’s vehicle into a wooded area near Camrose Lane, and footage of a man setting fire to the Saturn. Police released portions of the video footage and a number of witnesses contacted police, naming Rachal as a suspect. Based on the video surveillance, witness statements and other evidence, Rachal was arrested and charged with second-degree murder and aggravated arson.
In connection with his plea, Rachal will serve life in prison without the benefit of probation, parole or suspension of sentence with regard to the murder. He will concurrently serve 10 years in prison with regard to the aggravated battery.
Assistant District Attorneys Ron Christopher Stamps and Britney A. Green of the Caddo District Attorney’s Special Victims Unit prosecuted the case. Rachal was defended by Michelle Andrepont.