Suspect Charged in Arnaudville Homicide

Published 02/16 2017 09:28PM

Updated 02/16 2017 09:37PM

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According to Sheriff Bobby J. Guidroz, "On September 7th 2016, St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to the address of 451 Koch Road, Arnaudville, Louisiana for a welfare concern check on the owner, "Clayborn Pinder." Upon arrival, a deputy proceeded to the front door of the residence and detected a strong odor emitting from inside the residence. The front door was found unlocked, the deputy then called out to Pinder. Hearing no response, coupled with the smell, he entered the residence and observed a deceased male on a living room chair. The deputy then contacted the detective section.

During the investigation, the residence appeared to have been broken into and the victim’s vehicle, a 2014 Volkswagen Passat was missing. Detectives entered the vehicle into the National Crime Information's Database as stolen and requested a hold be put on the vehicle and driver relative to a homicide investigation. The initial welfare concern quickly moved to a homicide investigation after the results of an autopsy was released to detectives.

On September 8th 2016, the St. Landry Sheriff's office received notification that the vehicle had been stopped and had come into contact with law enforcement agencies in Louisiana and in Texas on September 4th 2016, three days before officers learned of the victim's death.

On September 5th 2016, the vehicle was again stopped in San Antonio, Texas. The driver of the vehicle was identified as Stoney Drake Bergeron, whose family home is located on Koch Road near the victim’s residence. Detectives listed Bergeron as a person of interest in the investigation and obtained a warrant for unauthorized use of Pinder's vehicle.

Bergeron and the vehicle were located at a rest area in New Mexico and he was he detained for St. Landry Parish authorities and transported back to St. Landry Parish.

After months of extensive investigation and interviews, detectives were able to uncover additional information naming Bergeron as the suspect who killed Pinder in his home.

Detectives were also able to obtain a search warrant for Bergeron’s DNA and sent the sample to the Acadiana Crime lab for comparison. Detectives received facts of the case from witnesses and from Bergeron known only by someone with direct knowledge of the murder. Sheriff Guidroz stated, "I want to publicly express my appreciation to the detectives in this case. A murder investigation is pain staking and has the investigators working day and night combing through evidence. The arrest was made with solid evidence that we need for a successful prosecution and conviction," Guidroz added.

Bergeron has been held in the parish jail on the charges of Unauthorized Use of A Moveable, Forgery, Monetary Instrument Abuse, and Unauthorized Use of An Access Card all related to the case. Bond had been set at $21,000 but Bergeron had several detainers for other agencies. Bergeron was charged with 1st Degree Murder and is currently being held with no bond.

On behalf of Sheriff Bobby J. Guidroz, this is Major Eddie Thibodeaux.

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