911 tapes report brawl at Jefferson family funeral

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wwltv.com

Posted on May 22, 2012 at 10:14 PM

Updated Wednesday, May 23 at 10:53 AM

Mike Perlstein / Eyewitness News
Email: mperlstein@wwltv.com | Twitter: @mperlstein

NEW ORLEANS -- Tension and suspicion surrounding Archie Jefferson apparently spilled over into violence this past weekend.

The scene was the funeral for his wife, Sandra Peters Jefferson, who was laid to rest near her family’s hometown of Varnado.

The May 12 homicide of Sandra Peters Jefferson murder remains unsolved, and husband Archie Jefferson, brother of imprisoned former Congressman Bill Jefferson, remains at the center of the investigation.

But that didn't stop Archie Jefferson from attending his wife's funeral Saturday, and the results were chaotic.

After the church service, the mourners went to Robinson cemetery, where Archie Jefferson and several others reportedly got into a brawl. Chief Deputy Scott Blair of the Washington Parish Sheriff's Office reported that at least four 911 calls were made from this site.

"911. We are out at Robinson Cemetery,” the officer says in the recording. “We're at a funeral and they're brawling out here. OK, I got them in route. What cemetery is this? Robinson cemetery. OK, OK, OK, OK. I got them coming, a brawl out here. East side unit, I need you to route to that Robinson cemetery. Advise, multiple 103-Fs at the funeral."

According to the Chief Criminal Deputy Scott Blair, deputies who broke up the brawl were given conflicting accounts.

"Mr. Jefferson said he had been jumped on, he and two other ladies who were with him had been jumped on,” Blair said. “All the other witnesses said that was not the case, that he had been the aggressor and he's the one who caused the trouble."

Cemetery caretaker Willie Foster was a witness. In a lifetime of attending graveside ceremonies, he had never seen anything like what happened here.

"I never seen this before,” Foster said. "I don't know. I thought I was in Iraq somewhere. People were all over. I mean, it was a mess."

The NOPD continues to gather evidence in Sandra Jefferson's killing. While Archie has not been named a suspect, sources tell Channel 4 that he remains a primary focus of the investigation.

Due to the conflicting stories and reluctant witnesses of the funeral fight, nobody was arrested in the altercation.

However, after Archie Jefferson and his two companions drove off, deputies discovered that his license plate did not match the car he was driving, a misdemeanor traffic violation.

Jefferson could not be reached for comment.

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