LPSO News Blog
2/11/2014 by Brennan Matherne
Lafourche Parish Sheriff Craig Webre announced the arrest of three men for their roles in a September 2013 double murder after investigators learned a convicted drug dealer ordered his son and an associate to kill the lead witness prior to his trial. Detectives say Toronzo “Tonto” Thompkins (B/M, D.O.B. 11/19/78) of Raceland orchestrated the murder of 41-year-old Nikki Landry, which also resulted in the murder of 54-year-old Harry Lefort, through orders to his son Traveyon “Goo” Blackledge (B/M, D.O.B. 04/10/95) of Thibodaux and Jerrard “G” Major (B/M, D.O.B. 10/01/78) of Raceland. Detectives believe Landry was the primary target and that Lefort was killed due to being present at the time. Landry was scheduled to testify in Thompkins’ trial for crack cocaine distribution which started that week.
Thompkins was initially arrested in April 2011 as part of Operation Dry Bayou, a six-month investigation by the Lafourche Parish Drug Task Force targeting cocaine dealers in Lafourche Parish. Agents had obtained video evidence of Thompkins engaged in a drug deal with Landry. Thompkins remained incarcerated at the Lafourche Parish Detention Center for the next two years awaiting trial.
In the days leading up to the trial, it was revealed to Thompkins through court proceedings that Landry had been working as an informant for the Lafourche Parish Drug Task Force. Through investigation, detectives learned Thompkins contacted his son, Blackledge, telling him to kill Landry. Detectives learned Thompkins also contacted Major, one of his associates, for the same purpose, offering him money in return for killing Landry before the start of the trial. Then on the morning of Sunday, September 22, Landry and Lefort were found dead inside Landry’s apartment in Larose, each having suffered multiple gunshot wounds.
After studying evidence collected at the scene, detectives realized early in the investigation that two gunmen were likely involved in the shooting, and eventually developed Blackledge and Major as suspects. Blackledge was arrested on Thursday, February 6, and during questioning, he confessed to taking part in the crime. Detectives then located and arrested Major on Sunday, February 9. Both were booked on two counts each of First Degree Murder and are being held without bond as ordered by Judge Walter I. Lanier III. Blackledge was additionally booked on outstanding warrants for drug distribution and contempt of court.
Despite Landry's murder, Thompkins was convicted of crack cocaine distribution on September 26, 2013. In October, Judge John E. LeBlanc sentenced Thompkins to serve the maximum sentence of 30 years in prison with hard labor. On Monday, February 10, detectives obtained a warrant charging Thompkins with two counts of First Degree Murder, and he was transferred from the Concordia Parish Correctional Facility to the Lafourche Parish Detention Center where he is also being held without bond after being booked on the murder charges.
Detectives say their investigation is continuing.