Travis Layne

Travis Layne

A suspect in the 2019 murder of Garon Lewis is being sought again, this time in relation to an assault on an Iberia Parish School District bus driver last week.

Travis Layne, 35, is wanted on several charges as one of two suspects in an assault Feb. 26 on a school bus driver. The incident occurred near the intersection of Yvonne and Zez streets.

Layne has been out on bond for a month on the charges in the Lewis case.

Police said the other suspect, Neshana Collins, turned herself in to police shortly before noon Friday. She was booked into the Iberia Parish Jail on charges of second-degree battery, battery on a school teacher, two counts of criminal trespassing, aggravated obstruction of a highway, terrorizing, and intimidation in schools.

She was released on $10,000 bond. The bus driver was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.

Layne, however, is still at large. In the Friday bus incident, he is charged with interference in the operation of schools, terrorizing, aggravated obstruction of a highway, criminal trespassing, second-degree battery, and battery on a school teacher.

Iberia Parish School Board Member Raymond "Shoe-Do" Lewis said the ongoing struggle for justice in his son's murder continues to disrupt his family's life.

"I can't sleep," Lewis said Monday. "Things just keep happening. Every time I turn around, it's something else."

Garon Lewis, 17, was found shot in his vehicle near the intersection of Audrey and Rene streets shortly after 9 p.m. on Aug. 16, 2019. So far, seven individuals have been charged with various crimes related to Lewis' death.

Layne was arrested in October 2019 on charges of second-degree murder, criminal conspiracy, aggravated criminal damage to property, illegal use of weapons, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of a firearm by a person convicted of domestic abuse battery.

Layne was initially released without bond in November after 16th Judicial District Court Judge Suzanne DeMahy determined that Layne had been denied speedy access to trial. Although prosecutors argued that COVID-19 restrictions and the challenges in preparing the case against Layne forced the trial delay, DeMahy did not agree.

“The reason for delay in this case is alleged by the state as COVID restrictions and complexity of case,” DeMahy wrote in her memo on the reasons for her judgment.  “However, the court finds these reasons for delay insufficient in this matter.”

The 16th JDC District Attorney’s Office filed a writ with the Third Circuit Court of Appeal, which was upheld. The court had Layne’s release rescinded in January, stating in the 2-1 decision that DeMahy had abused her discretion in releasing Layne without bond.  Subsequently, 16th JDC Judge Lewis Pitman set bond for Layne at $100,000. Layne then bonded out of the Iberia Parish Jail on Jan. 25. 

He is scheduled to stand trial in the Lewis murder on April 5.

 

Dwayne Fatherree is the community editor for The Daily Iberian. He can be reached at dwayne.fatherree@daily-iberian.com.

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