Covington, LA -- The father of a northshore murder suspect is now also under arrest, for obstruction of justice, in the case. 60-year old Benson O'Brien, Junior remains in the St. Tammany Parish Jail on that charge Monday evening. O'Brien Junior is the son of Pat O'Brien, who opened the famous French Quarter bar.
According to investigators, O'Brien Junior returned to his home on Pat O'Brien Road in rural Covington, after the murder of 31-year old Bridgette Harveston. O'Brien Junior's son, Benson O'Brien III is charged with he murder. St. Tammany Sheriff Jack Strain told reporters at a Monday press conference, O'Brien III fled the scene shortly after the murder, and after attempting CPR on Harveston, O'Brien III attempted to burn evidence.
"He basically came upon his son after the commission of the murder and I think after a period of time, he tampered with some of the evidence," Sheriff Strain said. "It was in that time frame after he left that the father removed some of the items. We know the specific items that were moved, and put them into a burn pile."
Among the items O'Brien Junior attempted to burn, detective said, was a rope, a blanket and Weedeater twine."Obviously, anytime somebody interferes, whether it's a relative or not, interferes with the commission of a crime, they can be arrested for it," Sheriff Strain explained. "And I think you're going to see them, in St. Tammany Parish, be held accountable for it as well."
Deputies arrived on the scene and recovered the evidence before it could be burned, according to Sheriff Strain.
O'Brien III and Harveston had a two-month-old child, but according to Sheriff Strain, O'Brien III had a long history of domestic violence which included three reported incidents while the couple lived in Madisonville. They had recently moved to Mandeville, but according to both Sheriff Strain and Bridgette Harveston's father, the final altercation came after Bridgette told O'Brien III she was leaving him.
"She began seeing the true personality of him coming out," Blake Harveston said Sunday, "so she was packed and ready to leave, and that's when the tragedy happened, when she attempted to leave."
Her funeral was Saturday.
"Until yesterday, I really didn't know how many lives she had touched," Blake Harveston said. "There were people I didn't know who came up to me and told me stories about knowing Bridgette. She was a very special young lady. and I know a lot of people will miss her."