- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 2, 2018

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) - Homicides reached a record high in the parish housing Louisiana’s capital city during 2017, and the new year also started with violence.

Police said two men were killed Sunday night and Monday morning in East Baton Rouge Parish.

Benjamin McKeel, 38, died Sunday night after being stabbed, said Baton Rouge police spokesman Sgt. Don Coppola.

Authorities arrested 34-year-old Katrice Belezaire on a second-degree murder charge in the stabbing. Belezaire told police she stabbed McKeel in the chest with a kitchen knife after he “walked up” on her during an argument inside her house, according to the arrest report.

The Advocate reports McKeel’s death brought the total number of 2017 homicides in the parish to 104. The newspaper said FBI statistics dating back more than five decades show the previous record was 96 in 2007.

Several hours after the fatal stabbing, police said Trenity “Trent” Grimes, 29, was shot multiple times and killed outside an apartment building Monday, the first killing recorded in the parish in 2018. Investigators believe the shooting resulted from a fight. No suspects have been identified.

Greg Lavergne, Grimes’ father, said his son left behind a 2-year-old daughter. He described his son as having “the biggest smile you’d ever seen” and “just a jolly guy.”

“You can’t even get settled into the new year with joy in your heart. But the devil is not going to steal all our joy,” Lavergne said. “It was a blessing for us to have Trent with us those 29 years.”

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


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