A former Natchitoches police officer will be arraigned Sept. 26 in Sabine Parish District Court on first degree murder charges in the death of Tony Procell of Many, according to Sabine Parish District Attorney Don Burkett
A Sabine Parish Grand Jury today indicted Robert Barthelemy, 34, of Natchitoches, on the murder charges. In addition, the grand jury returned true bills against Barthelemy for second degree kidnapping and home invasion.
Barthelemy has been housed in the Caddo Correctional Center since August 28, but will be transported to Sabine Parish district court for his arraignment.
Procell’s remains were found in a shallow grave in Winn Parish five days after his disappearance from his home, though positive identification was not confirmed until several days later due to the blunt force trauma to his face and head area.
Procell went missing August 20 from his Many residence, his disappearance was not known until later in the
day when his roommate checked the home’s surveillance camera and saw a man he knew as a Natchitoches police officer with a pistol in his hand leaving the house..
Sabine Parish deputies learned Barthelemy was stopped for speeding in Robeline just minutes after he left Procell’s house.
Cell phone tracking technology was used to locate Barthelemy, who then led several parish law-enforcement agencies and state police on a high-speed car chase on I-49 that finally ended on LA Highway 177 when stopped his GMC Envoy in the middle of the road and jumped ship.
He was arrested in the early morning hours of August 22 by deputies DeSoto Parish Sheriff’s Office and placed in the DeSoto Parish Jail. He was transported to the Sabine Parish Detention Center the following day.
A first degree murder conviction in Louisiana is punishable by the death penalty or life in prison without possibility of parole, probation or suspension.