HAPPENING TODAY: Construction project adds to traffic headaches; Accused driver in Metairie 'execution' killings due in court

HAPPENING TODAY: Construction project adds to traffic headaches; Accused driver in Metairie 'execution' killings due in court
Lane shifts start Tuesday between Orleans and St. Phillip as streetcar line construction continues on N. Rampart (FOX 8 photo)
Lane shifts start Tuesday between Orleans and St. Phillip as streetcar line construction continues on N. Rampart (FOX 8 photo)

Construction project brings more driving restrictions near French Quarter

A road project begins Tuesday, bringing even more driving restrictions to Rampart Street near the French Quarter.

Traffic will shift from the parking lane to the inside lane on the riverside of North Rampart Street between Orleans Avenue and St. Philip Street. This will eliminate the right turn at St. Ann Street and the right turn from Dumaine Street.

The traffic control will remain in place until the contractor completes pavement restoration at the intersections of St. Ann Street and Dumaine Street, which is expected to be one week, weather permitting.

This is all part of ongoing construction to expand the streetcar down Rampart and St. Claude.

The project started in January despite a lawsuit filed by a group of activists worried the construction could threaten the historic buildings in the French quarter.

Accused driver in killing of Metairie father, son due in court

A woman accused in the killing of a Metairie father and son is due in court.

Haraquon DeGruy, 18, is scheduled for a preliminary hearing at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Jefferson Parish deputies say DeGruy and 17-year-old Dexter Allen were breaking into cars in the 3700 block of Clifford Drive, the same Metairie neighborhood where David and Nicholas Pence were shot dead on April 22.

Deputies say DeGruy admitted they were riding around in the area committing vehicle burglaries when they saw the Pence's garage open with the lights on. She said they decided to rob the family. Allen allegedly grabbed a shotgun and got out of the car while DeGruy circled the block.

Police say Allen went into the house through an unlocked side door and stole various items from the house, including items from Elizabeth Pence's purse that were later used as evidence. Police are still unsure why David and Nicholas Pence were killed during the robbery.

DeGruy allegedly confessed to police that Allen came back to the car and told her that he killed someone and they needed to leave.

Officers arriving on the scene found David Pence, 56, shot multiple times in a living room chair. Nicholas Pence, 25, was found lying on the living room floor with multiple gunshot wounds, deputies say. Both men died on the scene.

Police were able to identify the pair as suspects via a neighbor's video surveillance. Police working the case also investigated nearby vehicle burglaries and found DeGruy's finger prints on a car burglarized one street over.

Allen faces two counts of first degree murder.

DeGruy was booked with accessory after the fact to first degree murder and one count of vehicle burglary.

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