Hammond man convicted of second degree murder
Press Release from District Attorney Scott Perrilloux:
District Attorney Scott M. Perrilloux reports that 21-year-old Jordan Cyprian, of Hammond, LA, was found guilty by a Tangipahoa Parish jury of Second Degree Murder for his involvement in the shooting death of 25-year-old Stephen Vance.
On November 25, 2016, Hammond Police and Acadian Ambulance responded to a male victim laying in the middle of the roadway on Rue Cannes in the Villa West Subdivision with a gunshot wound to the head. The gunshot appeared to be point blank. The victim did not have any identification on him with only keys in his possession. When detectives arrived on scene to conduct a walkthrough of the area, shattered particles of glass were observed around the area of blood. The male victim died shortly after at North Oaks Hospital.
Later in the morning, detectives received a call from Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office advising that that they were on scene with a black Nissan Altima that had a shattered front driver’s seat window and blood inside of the vehicle on Old Baton Rouge Highway. 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 seen hanging in tree limbs in the woods across the street from where the car was located. There were also floor mats in the bushes that appeared to have been thrown in the woods. The vehicle identification number led detectives to find the registered owner of the vehicle. Detectives made contact with the registered owner of the Nissan Altima who stated that his friend and roommate Stephen Vance borrowed his vehicle to go to work at Sears in Hammond on Thanksgiving night for Black Friday and that he was supposed to get off of work at around 1:00 AM but never returned home. Detectives obtained Vance’s information and ran his driver’s license and retrieved a photo of him. Detectives showed Vance’s roommate a picture of the victim and his friend positively identified Stephen Vance as the unidentified male found.
On November 28, 2016, Hammond Detectives received information from TPSO in reference to possible suspects involved in the murder of Stephen Vance. Through police investigation it was learned that Eric Newman, Jordan Cyprian, and Robert Rheams III were walking from Tangi Trailer Park located on Old Baton Rouge Highway to Circle K on South Morrison Boulevard. While in route, Jordan Cyprian gave Eric Newman a Ruger 45 Caliber semi-automatic firearm to rob someone. After leaving Circle K, Eric Newman, Jordan Cyprian and Robert Rheams III began walking west on Rue Simone 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, Eric Newman planned to commit a robbery by attempting to stop vehicles traveling on South Morrison Boulevard while Jordan Cyprian laid on the ground pretending to need medical assistance when a black Nissan Altima operated by Stephen Vance stops to assist. By Newman’s and Rheams’s own admission, both proceeded to get into the vehicle with Vance. Rheams stated that in a four-minute time span Newman demanded that Vance give him the vehicle. Vance told Newman no and that he would be taking them back to the location from where he picked them up. Newman produced a handgun from under his clothing. At this time Rheams exited the vehicle and began running back toward the location they left Cyprian. Newman then shoots Vance in the head, pushes him out of the vehicle into the roadway, left the area in Vance’s vehicle, and proceeded to drop the car off on Anthon Lane. Shortly after the murder, Cyprian discarded the murder weapon.
Assistant District Attorney Le’Anne Malnar represented the state of Louisiana, Judge Jeffery Johnson presided.
Second degree murder carries an automatic life sentence without the benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence in the state of Louisiana. Formal sentencing is scheduled for August 19, 2020 at 1:00 pm.
Eric Newman was sentenced to life in prison without the benefit of probation, parole, or suspension of sentence on November 14, 2018. Robert Rheams III, also charged with second degree murder, is scheduled to appear in court on September 23, 2020 for a Pre-Trial hearing.