Bossier Parish sheriff's investigators believe they have solved the murder of a Plain Dealing woman with the arrest of a 30-year-old man. Detectives took Trill McKinney of Plain Dealing into custody less than 24 hours after they discovered that Betty Jean Sweet, 61, died as the result of a shotgun blast to the chest.
"We need to, and we're compelled to work as hard as we can to vindicate her killing," vowed Sheriff Larry Deen Tuesday only hours before McKinney's arrest.
Department spokesman, Lt. Ed Baswell, would not comment on specifically what directed detectives to McKinney. But he said once they had him in custody, he confessed to the killing, saying he shot Sweet during a botched robbery.
"When he broke into her house, she started screaming," said Baswell. "He then took the shotgun and held it up to her chest and fired one round "
Baswell said the suspect has a criminal record, and was released from prison less than a year ago. He also has somewhat of a history with Sweet.
"A couple of years before he had done some work at her house," Baswell said. "Plus his residence is not really that far from her residence."
But that's where investigators believe the acquaintance ends. They said Sweet lived alone and had few relatives. In fact, only her co-workers at a Vivian nursing home realized she was missing. They called the sheriff's office last weekend, when Sweet failed to show up for work after her Wednesday shift. Detectives later discovered the medical assistant lying on the floor of her livingroom with a hole in her chest, her body covered with a blanket.
"She probably was picked because she was elderly, because she lived alone, because she lived in a remote area of the parish," Baswell said.
Whatever the reason, Baswell said, the murder means trouble now for McKinney. He faces a list of charges, including first degree murder, armed robbery and aggravated burglary.