PORT ALLEN, LA (WAFB) - A gun and vehicle, both stolen from Port Allen in 2013, were the missing links to solving a multi-state crime spree involving three men, including the 2013 shooting death of 77-year-old Charles Nieman in Boise City, Oklahoma.
The weapon used in the shooting, a .40 caliber Glock, was stolen from Port Allen Police Chief Esdron Brown.
Brown was issued the gun on June, 1 2013. Police records obtained by WAFB show Brown filed a formal complaint about the weapon theft on July 24, 2013.
In the complaint, Brown told investigators the weapon was kept on his person at all times, except when it was stored in one of two locations. Brown was unsure when the weapon disappeared.
The weapon was recovered by the Denver Police Department during an investigation on June 16, 2013.
For years, investigators in Oklahoma had few leads, until December of 2018.
A newly formed unit assigned to investigate cold cases in Oklahoma was able to connect the weapon to the homicide through ballistics imaging technology by matching shell cases discovered from the 2013 Boise City crime scene to a casing entered by the Denver Police Department.
Investigators say at the time of his death, Nieman was traveling through Boise City with his wife when the pair stopped to get gas. A man approached and pointed a gun at Neiman’s head, then demanded cash.
Nieman, who was hard of hearing, became confused and did not comply with the gunman’s demand. Investigators say the gunman then shot Nieman in the head. As the shooter fled on foot, at the same time, the vehicle he was traveling in was driven away from the scene by another one of the suspects, investigators say.
The vehicle seen headed from the Boise City shooting was found in Brighton, Colorado on June 26, 2013. Investigators later discovered it had been traded by one of the suspects arrested in connection with the shooting for drugs.
Police say it was reported stolen from a Port Allen residence a few houses down from the chief’s on June 10, 2013.
Two suspects involved in this murder, Zachary Wilson and Timothy Dees, were arrested in Mobile, Alabama on Feb. 6, 2019.
A third suspect, Jeremy Hugh Scott, was arrested days later on Friday, Feb. 8 near Denver.
At this time, the investigation is ongoing, police say.