Prosecution proves 'probable cause' against triple homicide suspect

Friday, May 20, 2011 - 9:44am

Prosecution has proved probable cause against the suspect accused of murdering three men at a Bossier City appliance store in April.

Limited evidence was all it took for a Bossier Parish judge to agree there is a case against Gerald Needham, 39.

The prosecution put three witnesses on the stand in Tuesday's hearing.  Two witnesses saw Needham near the store shortly before the shooting.  Prosecutors say one of those witnesses saw Needham cover up his head with a hoodie and walk into the Bill Norris Appliance Store on Barksdale Blvd.  Less than a minute later, the witness heard multiple gunshots, said Bossier District Attorney Schuyler Marvin.  The witness, who stood on the side of the building, did not see Needham leave the building, but saw him walk in.

A second eyewitness who knew Needham told police he had passed him on a nearby road just before the shooting.  The third witness, an officer, took the stand to confirm Needham's street name, 'Copperhead'.

Prosecutors say there's evidence that robbery could be the motive since a co-worker confirms one of the victims had money in his pocket.  That money was not found on the victim when police arrived, said Marvin.  "We think that's one possible motive, but it may not be the only motive."

Needham has an extensive criminal history including armed robbery charges.  Marvin told us that history will come into play in his decision of whether or not to seek the death penalty if the grand jury indicts Needham.

Needham remains behind bars on a $3 million bond at Bossier Maximum Facility.  In a few weeks, his case will be presented to a grand jury to see if it will go to trial.

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