DANIEL AIKENS: After federal conviction, Grant DA says he will move forward with murder case

Aikens to be sentenced on federal bomb conviction on March 3, 2023
Daniel Aikens, 40, of Alexandria, has been convicted by a federal jury on eight counts related to three explosions in the Alexandria and Monroe area.
Published: Nov. 21, 2022 at 3:02 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 21, 2022 at 4:24 PM CST
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GRANT PARISH, La. (KALB) - On Friday, Nov. 18, 2022, Daniel Aikens, 40, of Alexandria, was convicted by a federal jury on eight counts related to three explosions in the Alexandria and Monroe area.

Aikens was arrested in Alexandria after a Jan. 2, 2020 explosion outside of PayDay Today loan company on MacArthur Drive.

He was charged with three counts each of making a destructive device and possession of a destructive device in violation of the National Firearms Act. He also faced one count each of using an explosive to commit a federal felony and conveying malicious false information.

Those charges are in connection to three separate incidents, which include a Jan. 2, 2020 pipe bomb explosion outside PayDay Today in Alexandria, a Dec. 20, 2019 pipe bomb explosion in a field next to a Texaco on Jackson Street, and a Sept. 12, 2019 pressure cooker bomb outside Cloyd’s Beauty School in Monroe.

He’ll be sentenced on March 3, 2023.

That conviction has brought questions about a 2017 Grant Parish case. In Aug. 2020, the Grant Parish Sheriff’s Office called a press conference naming Aikens as a suspect in the Dec. 31, 2017 murder of Keelien Lewis, 29 of Dry Prong.

According to the sheriff’s office, Lewis died of asphyxiation by carbon monoxide poisoning. Aikens was Lewis’ employer at a lawn care business he operated. Lewis worked for Aikens for about three weeks. Investigators said Aikens took out a $250,000 insurance policy on Lewis and that was his motive.

“I knew that my son was murdered,” said Lakishama Shawn Lewis, Keelien’s mother at the Aug. 2020 press conference. “I knew from the beginning, because I know my child.”

The sheriff’s office got a warrant for Aikens arrest and a detainer, but to date, because of the federal case, there’s been no movement on the Grant Parish case.

On Monday, Nov. 21, 2022, News Channel 5 spoke with District Attorney Jay Lemoine and Sheriff Steven McCain about the future of the case now that the federal one has concluded. Both told us that the district attorney’s office plans to now move forward with the murder case and intends to charge Aikens with second-degree murder.

Lemoine told us that he needs to reach out to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Louisiana to see how to go about it procedurally, since Aikens will be in federal custody.

There’s no word yet on a timeline for that.

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