A Tangipahoa Parish jury has found Jordan Cyprian, 21, of Hammond, guilty for his involvement in the Thanksgiving 2016 shooting death of Stephen Vance.
Vance was the 25-year-old resident of Baptist who had gotten off from his job at Sears late Nov. 25 and was found lying in the middle of Rue Cannes in Villa West with a gunshot wound to his head. He died soon afterward at North Oaks Hospital.
District Attorney Scott Perrilloux said second degree murder carries an automatic life sentence without the benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence. Formal sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 19 at 1 p.m.
Assistant District Attorney Le’Anne Malnar represented the state, and Judge Jeffery Johnson presided.
Cyprian is one of three charged in the case. On Nov. 14, 2018, Eric Newman was sentenced to life in prison without the benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence.
Robert Rheams III, also charged with second degree murder, is scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 23 for a pre-trial hearing.
According to the evidence presented to the jury, the gunshot appeared to be point blank due to severe stippling around the wound.
The victim had only keys in his possession and no identification. Detectives walked through the area and saw shattered particles of glass around the area of blood.
Later in the morning, the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office notified Hammond police detectives that a black Nissan Altima was on Old Baton Rouge Highway with a shattered front driver’s seat window and blood inside.
Detectives noticed numerous pieces of trash and articles around the car and in the ditch near the car. Some of the items appeared to have blood on them. A bloody towel was hanging in tree limbs in the woods across the street. In the bushes were floor mats that appeared to have been thrown in the woods.
The vehicle identification number led detectives to the registered owner who said his friend and roommate, Vance, had borrowed the vehicle to go to work at Sears in Hammond on Thanksgiving night for Black Friday and he was supposed to get off work at around 1 a.m. but never returned home.
Detectives got Vance’s information, ran his driver’s license and retrieved a photo of him. They showed a picture of the victim to Vance’s roommate and he positively identified him.
On Nov. 28, 2016, the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office informed Hammond police detectives about possible suspects involved in the murder.
Through police investigation, it was learned that while Newman, Cyprian, and Rheams were walking from Tangi Trailer Park on Old Baton Rouge Highway to Circle K on South Morrison Boulevard, Cyprian gave Newman a Ruger 45 Caliber semi-automatic firearm to rob someone.
After leaving Circle K, the three began walking west on Rue Simon Drive. Surveillance footage from nearby shows Newman entering into the front passenger seat of Vance’s vehicle along with Rheams in the back passenger seat.
According to police interviews heard by the jury, Newman planned to commit a robbery by trying to stop vehicles traveling on South Morrison Boulevard while Cyprian laid on the ground pretending to need medical help when a black Nissan Altima operated by Stephen Vance stopped. Newman and Rheams admitted they got into the vehicle with Vance.
Rheams said that in a four-minute time span Newman demanded Vance give him the vehicle. Vance told Newman no and that he would be taking them back to where he had picked them up.
Newman pulled a handgun from under his clothing, and Rheams got out of the vehicle and began running back toward where they had left Cyprian.
Newman then shot Vance in the head, pushed him out of the vehicle into the street, left the area in the vehicle and then proceeded to drop the car off on Anthon Lane. Cyprian discarded the murder weapon.