More details released on accused man in triple homicide

BOSSIER CITY, LA (KSLA) - By Jeff Ferrell – bio|email

Bossier City Police released more details about the arrest of 39-year old Gerald Cortez Needham, who has been charged with three counts of first degree murder in the shootings deaths of 77-year-old shop owner Bill Norris, 58-year old Jesse Burks, and 66-year-old Harold Arnett. It all happened during a news conference held this morning at the Bossier Police Headquarters.

KSLA News 12 spoke to a lifelong friend of Needham, who had more to say about Needham than authorities revealed, that's because authorities don't want to say anything that could jeopardize the prosecution of this alleged triple killer.

Gerald Cortez Needham is a name familiar to Bossier City Police Chief Shane McWilliams. Needham has faced Chief McWilliams more than once during his 10-plus years in the Violent Crimes Unit.

"In my entire time in there at some point year after year his name came up in violent situations," says Bossier City Police Chief Shane McWilliams.

But some question whether Needham had help.

"There's always a chance that there might be some additional arrests made but there again I can't comment one way or another,"adds Chief McWilliams.

One of Needham's lifelong friends, identified as Pete says there's no way he would have gone to Norris Appliance by himself, during the day, at a business that's open for anyone to come and go as they please.

As for the question of why, Ronny Norris, son of the murder and store owner William Norris says " I wish I could ask him that myself."

"I'm just thankful they got him as quick as they did even though it's been almost two weeks they still got him quick."

Chief McWilliams remains cautious when asked about motive.

"I can say I don't consider it to be a random act of violence, no,"says Chief McWilliams.

But Needham's friend says motive is likely something very simple because the victims knew Needham and he didn't want to go back to prison.

Chief McWilliams confirmed that Needham, better known as "Copperhead" on the streets of Bossier City, had been mentioned as a potential suspect in a previous murder case.

His friend Pete says it's no secret that Copperhead was mentioned frequently in the gruesome quadruple murder from 2003 at Pier Landing Apartments in Shreveport.

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