East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Homicide detectives apprehended a man this evening suspected in the December 2016 break-in, robbery, murder and arson of his ex-girlfriend’s father.
James Henry Rivers (dob 6/9/82), of 11982 Jackson Rd. Zachary, LA. is charged with First Degree Murder, Second Degree Robbery, False Imprisonment, Simple Arson, Simple Burglary of an Inhabited Dwelling and Obstruction of Justice. Rivers is accused of breaking into the victim’s home, binding him with wire, stealing his cell phone and dog and causing injuries that resulted in his death. It is believed that following the murder, he set fire to the victim’s home to destroy the evidence.
On December 31, 2016 at approximately 4:08 a.m. the East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office responded to a fire at 7956 S. Hendricks Drive. The badly burned remains of an unknown man were discovered inside the residence. An autopsy conducted by the EBR Coroner’s office revealed the victim’s wrists were bound with wire and the victim’s death was a result of blunt force injuries.
DNA analysis performed by the Louisiana State Police Crime Lab positively identified the victim as David Allen, (DOB 10/6/63).
Detectives contacted the victim’s daughter who informed them that she was in a romantic relationship with Rivers for approximately two years prior to her father’s death. She further indicated that Rivers had been mentally and physically abusive, committed various property crimes against the her and also made threats to kill her if she ended the relationship. Allen’s daughter and Rivers were living together in Pride, LA until the night before the homicide. The daughter stated she ended the relationship on December 30, 2016. She discarded a cell phone she believed Rivers was using to track her at her father’s residence. Based on evidence, detectives believe Rivers then went to Allen’s home looking for his daughter.
The daughter stated that on the night of Friday, December 30th, 2016, she received a series of messages from Rivers on a social media account. One of the messages contained a photograph of Allen’s bedroom. A second message contained a photograph of the Allen’s dog. Rivers did not have permission from Allen to enter the residence or to take the dog. Rivers later admitted to the Allen’s daughter that he went into the residence and stole the dog in attempt to make contact with her. Rivers released the dog in the parking lot of the motel where the Allen’s daughter had been staying after she did not contact Rivers.
Detectives obtained a warrant for Rivers based on the above information as well as witness statements and other electronic evidence. Homicide detectives apprehended Rivers this evening in the parking lot at 7201 Winnbourne Avenue. He will be transported and booked into parish prison.