NEW ORLEANS -- The body shop where police officers found the vehicle believed to have been used in the fatal hit and run of an NOPD officer is under scrutiny.
The co-owner of the body shop, Bill Cager, was released Thursday from Orleans Parish Prison after posting a $100,000 bond on charges of accessory to manslaughter and obstruction of justice.
His release followed that of Justin McKey, who earlier made a $50,000 bond after being booked with manslaughter and hit-and-run.
McKey was allegedly at the wheel when the high-end Porsche Panamera struck and killed Officer Rodney Thomas. But as detectives continue to piece together how the car ended up at this shop, new attention is focused on Cager and the garage itself.
Best of the Best Automotive and Sales sits in the shadow of NOPD headquarters on Gravier Street. But neighborhood residents say the doors to the shop are rarely open, and some on the street know it as a "no-questions-asked" garage that sometimes operates at odd hours.
Business records show the shop has changed hands several times in the past few years.
In addition, police sources say officers have received tips about the garage being used as a chop shop, but a department spokesperson was unable to confirm those reports.
One thing that is confirmed is the arrest of Cager in 2002 on charges of possession of a stolen car, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and altering a vehicle I.D. number. Court records show those charges were refused, but the records do not state why.
The reported owner of the car, Kenneth Halley, remains behind bars on a $100,000 bond after being booked as an accessory in the fatal accident.