Jimmy Lee Tigues, 62, of Shreveport, Louisiana, has been arrested in connection with the shooting death of another man in 1980.  It took 10 years to solve the 35-year-old cold case and the conclusion was a surprise to investigators.  The U.S. Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force took Tigues into custody.  Tigues was booked for second-degree murder in the shooting death of Robert Earl French, 29.

“In any case, old or new, you have to take what information you have and start from there,” said Caddo Sheriff’s Detective Terry Richardson.

The Shreveport police originally investigated the case, but leads went cold and it was reassigned to Caddo Parish.

“This all started in 2004 with the Harold Cotton homicide. We had people that had contacted us about other unsolved murders that may be connected, possibly, to the suspect we had in the Cotton murder,” Richardson said, “It just took quite some time to pull up all the reports, since they were so old. They’re not in computers, they’re in boxes and files here and there. It just took a while to gather all these things and look into it and share it with the DA’s office.”

Richardson was originally investigating the 2004 homicide of Harold Bruce Cotton. He arrested Jake Robinson in that case in 2014, but he found information connected with two other cold cases.  He arrested 3 others allegedly connected to the 26-year-old murder of Claudell Staten. These arrests included Jake Robinson and his brother, Henry Robinson.  To find French’s killer, more information was needed.

Richardson was given bits and pieces of clues to the identity of French’s killer over the interviews.  The facts in the case were few and far between.

“[Cotton] was murdered in 2004, and his body was found in his car out on White Springs Road off of Ellerbe in south Caddo. Obvious murder. That was not the murder scene. There was a primary scene somewhere, it was basically a body dump in that situation,” Richardson said, “As we started into that, that’s what led to information with all of these others. And Staten…he was actually found in his car just a few miles away from where Bruce Cotton was found, you know, 20 years later. So there were just a lot of similarities and some of the same names had arisen as the people who may be involved.”

“Luckily, one of the (now retired) officer’s on the case kept a personal log, and we were able to contact the Coroner’s Office which keeps records on all homicides,” Richardson said, “It takes a little while to verify the information we’re given, but we ultimately did find out they were connected.”

CPSO doesn’t assign cold cases to detectives, they wait for new information to surface before re-opening the case.

“With cold cases, we act on the cases which have the most information and the highest potential of ending in an arrest. That’s how we decide what’s worth reexamining,” Richardson said.

French was shot multiple times in what is being described as a drug-related crime.

When Richardson opened the French file, he found three suspects named:  Tigues and brothers, Jake and Henry Robinson.  The Robinsons are notorious in Shreveport and their ruthlessness was well attested to.  It is believed that French was dealing for the Robinsons and owed them money.  He didn’t pay up, so the brothers paid Tigues to kill French.

“The Robinsons have a well-deserved reputation for being vicious people, violent people,” acting Caddo District Attorney Dale Cox said, “They have terrorized a great deal of this community for a long time.”

Richardson also said he believes some of the same people were involved in the 1983 murder of Isadore Rozeman.   Glenn Ford was wrongfully convicted for this crime and spent decades on death row before he was exonerated in 2014.  

The Robinsons are also suspects in the 1987 murder of juvenile Charles Hayes.  He was hung to death in a crime designed to look like a suicide.  Hayes’ mother owed the Robinsons money.

Sources:  Shreveport Times  |  710keel.com  |  KTBS

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