Sheriff, mother of murder victim warn against turning to drugs

Ashley Rodrigue talks about the death of a woman in Loranger.

HAMMOND, La. --  A stunning discovery on a quiet country road in Loranger had detectives puzzled early Tuesday morning. 

The body of Heather Cox, 27, was laying on the side of the road, but a single gunshot wound told deputies her being there wasn't an accident.

They would later learn she was dumped there after being shot in an argument over drugs, detectives say, by Brian Anthony II.  The car she was shot in was later found burned nearby. The gun, a Corbry 410/45 long colt had been tossed in a vacant house.

MORE: Sheriff: Suspect killed woman, shot brother, stole cars in 36-hour spree

"If he wanted her money, all he had to do was take it. He didn't have to kill her," said Cox's mother, Donna Cox Rhodus.

Rhodus says her daughter was beautiful, smart and in school to become a teacher, but she also had a dark side doing business in the drug industry. Rhodus didn't like her daughter's lifestyle, but says she didn't deserve to be taken so soon, or that way.

"She done what she did but she was still a good person and she was my daughter and she had so much life to live," said Rhodus, "She could have come back from what she was doing if she'd have been given the chance."

But Sheriff Daniel Edwards says shooting Heather and dumping her body was only the beginning of Anthony's multi-day crime spree.

"Four hours after we allege he killed Heather Cox, he actually shot his brother," said Edwards, "And in Livingston Parish yesterday, he committed an assault by drive-by shooting, just right before we were able to apprehend him on Wardline Road in Hammond. 

Edwards says Anthony confessed to the crimes, saying they were sparked by old, petty arguments, but fueled by meth, something he's been hooked on since his teen years.  It's also something the sheriff says is guaranteed to end badly.

"If you're going to go out and use drugs, if you're going to go out and sell drugs, then you're putting yourself in a high-risk situation, then you are certainly, your odds of something bad happening, like becoming a victim of a violent crime, goes up," said Edwards.

But Rhodus wants people to know wrong turns in life can always be righted before the road ends for good.

Anthony has been booked on multiple charges including second-degree murder, attempted second-degree murder, arson and felony theft.  Two others were arrested for helping Anthony hide himself and evidence.  More arrests are expected.

(© 2016 WWL)


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