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Haughton store clerk reacts to Bossier murder investigation link

Published: Jul. 16, 2011 at 11:37 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 30, 2011 at 7:38 PM CDT
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HAUGHTON, LA (KSLA) - Within days, prosecutors are expected to drop murder charges against Gerald Needham, the man arrested in April's triple-murder at Norris Appliance Center in Bossier City.

That development is thanks in large part to a bullet casing found in a robbery at Emerson's convenience store in Haughton that matched the casings from the murder scene.

"I feel lucky that he didn't come in and do the same thing to us that he did to those other people," says Phillip Gullo. He was one of the two clerks on duty when Emerson's was robbed in May.

The suspect fired one shot that day.

"You could tell that he had done it before. He was very comfortable holding a gun. Very comfortable shooting a gun. We knew that he fired off a shot intentionally."

More than a month later, deputies arrested 32-year old Robert Clark in the hold-up. Since then, KSLA News 12 has confirmed that the gun used in the armed robbery was also used in the Bossier triple murder. It had been stolen from a car outside of Deja-vu strip club, where Clark worked.

"It was sort of shocking hearing that the guy that came in here, the same gun fired in our store was the one that killed three people," Gully says.

Authorities had already arrested 39-year old Gerald Needham, and charged him with three counts of first-degree murder. He was locked-up when the Emerson's hold-up took place.

Bossier District Attorney Schuyler Marvin now confirms that Clark is a person of interest in the murders.

He plans says he plans to drop the murder charges against Needham him early next week because there is too much reasonable doubt to continue. But, he insists there's some kind of connection between the two men.

Needham's public defender, Randal Fish, questions the timing of a new charge against his client. It's a federal charge of illegal possession of ammunition for bullets found in his home after his arrest.

"Rather than doing this to Mr. Needham, they should be apologizing to him and letting him out right this second. Instead they are going to prolong this nightmare for an innocent man."

Gully says he credits the Bossier Parish Sheriff's Office for catching Clark and making the connection that could be the big break in the murder investigation, and help clear a potentially innocent man.

Gerald Needham is still behind bars on $3 million bond. He will remain there even after the murder charges are dropped and the new charge takes affect.

Robert Clark is being held on $250,000 bond.

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