- Associated Press - Thursday, October 27, 2016

PLAQUEMINE, La. (AP) - Iberville Parish Sheriff Brett Stassi says they’ve cleared two cold-case killings.

Stassi said 61-year-old Tommy Francise, of Plaquemine, was arrested early Thursday in Lafayette in the deaths of two men - one in 1991 and the other in 2002. Investigators believe the victims had done work for Francise and at some point had altercations with him, Stassi said.

Bond information for Francise was not immediately available. It was unknown if he’s represented by an attorney, who could comment on his behalf.

The Advocate (https://bit.ly/2eK60JG ) reports the victims were Curtis “Cochise” Smith, 30, who was last seen in February 1991 and whose body has never been found, and George Barrett, 53, who was found dead in his home in March 2002. Both were from Plaquemine.

Investigators believe Francise shot Smith, put him in a barrel and dumped him in Bayou Pigeon. Details surrounding Barrett’s death were not released.

Stassi said both cases will be the focus of the second season of “Killing Fields,” a docu-drama series on the Discovery Channel that was filmed over the summer.

Stassi said putting the cases on television, people talking about them and the passage of time helped break open the cold cases.

“Time keeps some people quiet, and others, it relaxes them to come forward,” Stassi said.

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Information from: The Advocate, https://theadvocate.com


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