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Rapides Parish grand jury indicts man for 2009 death of three-year-old

Arraignment set for Dec. 8, 2021 for O’Neil Wesley
Published: Nov. 18, 2021 at 12:37 PM CST
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RAPIDES PARISH, La. (KALB) - A Rapides Parish grand jury has indicted a Gulfport, Mississippi man for a 2009 cold case homicide in Alexandria.

O’Neil Wesley, 32, has been charged with second-degree murder for the May 2009 death of three-year-old Kennedy Compton in the city. The grand jury returned a true bill this week. Wesley was originally arrested on a first-degree murder charge.

At a bond hearing in September, Det. Tanner Dryden with the Alexandria Police Department testified that Compton was in the foster care system and was left for part of the day in Wesley’s care. Dryden said Wesley was 19 at the time and had aged out of the foster care system, but stayed at a home where Compton was living.

Det. Dryden said Compton was sick that day and was left in the care of Wesley while Compton’s foster guardian and her sister were headed out of the area for a visit with a biological relative.

“The child was the only child at the residence with Mr. Wesley,” Det. Dryden told the court at the hearing.

Det. Dryden said, at one point, the child woke up Wesley while he was sleeping, saying she was ill.

“The victim came to his bed, woke him up, stated she threw up,” said Det. Dryden. “Mr. Wesley gave her medicine. He went back to sleep. She woke him up again. He placed her on the toilet and went to watch TV. He heard a noise and went to check on her, she was on the floor lethargic.”

Det. Dryden said Wesley called the guardian to tell her what was going on.

“He never mentioned to her (the guardian) why she may have been in the condition she was in,” said Det. Dryden.

At some point after, Det. Dryden said Wesley called 911. First responders reported that Compton was unconscious and cool to the touch. She later died. An autopsy would list the manner of death as a homicide and note internal bleeding and shock. The case remained stuck, however, with no arrest.

This year, Det. Dryden took a closer look and re-interviewed Wesley. Det. Dryden said Wesley told him that he may have hit the girl and testified “he (Wesley) intended to knee the child in the stomach.”

Bond for Wesley is set at $500,000. At the time of the bond hearing, Judge Mary Doggett said she would defer her decision on whether or not to lower Wesley’s bond until a grand jury met to consider the case. The decision on a possible bond reduction is still pending.

Meanwhile, Wesley will be arraigned on Dec. 8.

Wesley is represented by Christopher LaCour. The case is being prosecuted by Kelvin Sanders.

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