Mother of Alexandria’s first homicide victim of 2022 talks about son’s case, struggles since his death

Candace Blood starting a non-profit in her son’s memory
The mother of the first homicide victim of the year in Alexandria discusses the tragic events.
Published: May. 18, 2022 at 6:10 PM CDT|Updated: May. 18, 2022 at 6:23 PM CDT
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - Candace Blood is living a nightmare that no parent ever wants to experience. Her son, Deven Brooks, 27 of Ball, was killed in January. It was the first homicide of the year in Alexandria.

Blood described the days that followed to News Channel 5: “You think, how is this my life? How is this my kid’s life?”

Brooks’ body was found on the edge of the Red River in Alexandria on Jan. 11, 2022. Officers said he was shot in the head.

“I know what a sweet kid he was, so kind and generous. I know we’re all such at risk,” said Blood. “I have always felt this false sense of safety. These people went into his home and took him.”

Blood said Deven was an entrepreneur, getting into cryptocurrency and starting to own commercial property and real estate. She said he was becoming successful.

Late last year, Blood said her son went on a few dates with a woman. At the time, she said she did not know much about the woman or her name.

“He told me he had met someone in October,” said Blood. “Around his birthday.”

Blood said before the month was over, the relationship was done. Police would later identify that woman as Jamaria Randle during a bond hearing for one of the two other suspects who were arrested for Brooks’ death - Terrance Lavalais and Tremaine Veal.

Blood told News Channel 5 she spoke with her son every night. On Sunday, Jan. 9, 2022, she said they talked by phone around 7:30 p.m. She said she could not reach him on Monday, but that was not too unusual. By Tuesday, she said she was worried.

“I mean, I didn’t think bad, I just thought that we need to lay our eyes on him,” she told us.

Then she got a call from the Ball Police Department.

“They said there was a report of something that had happened,” said Blood. “They weren’t sure what it was.”

Brooks had been reported as a possible kidnapping victim to the Ball Police Department that Sunday night, Jan. 9. His body would be discovered by Alexandria police on Jan. 11. Det. Jason Mouillere testified at a bond reduction for Lavalais earlier this month that the body was bound with cables, zip ties and duct tape.

Brooks had been thrown down a small cliff by the Red River. The discovery happened right around the time Blood found out that her son was missing.

Det. Mouillere testified that a neighbor placed Randle at Brooks’ home late Jan. 9. The neighbor told police that Brooks was asking for help trying to get Randle to leave.

Det. Mouillere testified that surveillance video from the Walmart on North Mall Drive showed Randle, Lavalais and Veal together - with the video depicting Randle trying to buy cables, zip ties and duct tape - before the purchase was declined and the items were taken without being paid for.

As Randle and Lavalais became suspects, Det. Mouillere testified that the two gave a statement to police about kidnapping and robbing Brooks. Later, Randle would say in a statement to police that Lavalais shot Brooks and identified Veal as the third person with them who provided the gun.

Det. Mouillere said it came down to money. Investigators believed they were trying to get Brooks’ iPhone because it was connected to a credit card.

“You can’t make sense of it,” said Blood. “For the money. This was to get his telephone, his cellphone, to access his credit card. That’s what they did.”

Blood told News Channel 5, knowing Deven and the kind of person he was, he would have just given them the money if they were in need.

“Absolutely,” she said. “I have no doubt.”

Blood is in the process of starting a non-profit in her son’s memory. You can find out more about it here.

Terrance Lavalais and Jamaria Randle have both entered “not guilty” pleas to a charge of second-degree murder. Bond for each is set at $1,150,000. Randle has a bond reduction hearing set for May 19.

Tremaine Veal will also be in court on May 19 to be arraigned on a charge of second-degree murder. Bond is set a $750,000.

Lavalais is represented by Christopher LaCour. Randle is represented by Chad Guillot. Veal is represented by Darrell Hickman.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Christopher Bowman.

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