Murder Investigation in LaSalle Parish

Melvin Gardner

At approximately 4:30  pm, on Friday, March 17, 2017, a 911 call came in to the LaSalle Parish Sheriff’s Office reporting a possible shooting in the Goodpine Community of LaSalle Parish. Upon arrival at the scene, Sheriff’s Deputies began an effort to persuade the suspect to exit the home, to which he eventually agreed.

The suspect, Melvin Gardner, 66 of Goodpine, was immediately taken into custody while officers searched the home for the victim.

Jamie Renee Bates, 31 of Pollock (formerly of Jena), was found dead in a bedroom of the house from an apparent gunshot wound. LaSalle Parish Sheriff’s Detectives were called to begin an investigation.

Melvin Gardner was charged with second-degree murder and remains in custody in the LaSalle Parish Jail with a bond of $500,000. Detectives report that no motive has been established in the shooting at this time but the case remains under investigation.