St. Tammany grand jury indicts three for murder of Lacombe man dumped in Florida swamp

From left, Jason James of Lacombe and Patrick McCarty of Slidell, along with 17-year-old Aarin...
From left, Jason James of Lacombe and Patrick McCarty of Slidell, along with 17-year-old Aarin Navarre of Slidell (not pictured) were indicted Wednesday (Sept. 28) for the murder of 32-year-old Joshua James.(St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office)
Published: Sep. 28, 2022 at 4:26 PM CDT|Updated: Sep. 30, 2022 at 10:23 AM CDT
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COVINGTON, La. (WVUE) - Three people accused of murdering a Lacombe man and dumping his corpse in a Florida swamp were indicted Wednesday (Sept. 28) by a St. Tammany Parish grand jury.

District Attorney Warren Montgomery’s office said 37-year-old Jason James of Lacombe, 36-year-old Patrick McCarty of Slidell and 17-year-old Aarin Navarre of Slidell each was indicted on charges of second-degree murder in connection with the killing of 32-year-old Joshua James of Lacombe.

The victim, whose body was found June 14 by a fisherman in the Jake’s Bayou waterway near Milton, Fla., was the younger brother of suspect Jason James.

Navarre, a juvenile at the time he allegedly took part in the killing, is being tried as an adult, Montgomery’s office said.

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In addition to the murder counts, the grand jury also charged Jason James with obstruction of justice and McCarty with obstruction of justice and two counts of possession of a firearm by a felon.

Each defendant faces a mandatory life sentence if convicted of the murder charge, though Navarre’s age could enable him to seek parole after 25 years if found guilty.

Investigators said Joshua James was beaten to death in the Lacombe residence shared by Jason James and McCarty. The suspects then allegedly drove the body to the remote Florida panhandle location where it was dumped but soon discovered. The three suspects’ arrests were announced on June 17.

St, Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office detective Julie Boyton collaborated with the Santa Rosa County (Fla.) Sheriff’s Office on the investigation, Montgomery’s office said. The case was presented to the grand jury by Assistant District Attorney Iain Dover.

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