Grand Jury indicts two men on separate murder, rape charges


District Attorney Billy Joe Harrington announced Tuesday, May 17 that a grand jury returned true bill indictments against two individuals for murder and rape.
James Morrow Jr., 30, of Natchitoches was indicted for second-degree murder. The indictment is in connection with the murder of Joshua Lee Humphries of Trout, La. A second suspect, Kendrick Cox, b/m, 30, remains at large.
Humphries’ body was found in an oxidation pond in the Payne Subdivision Feb. 2.
Morrow Jr. was arrested Feb. 2 and detained at the Natchitoches Parish Detention Center (NPDC) on 1 count of Unlawful Disposal of Remains. He was subsequently arrested Friday, Feb. 4, and charged with 1-count of First Degree Murder in Humphries death.

This article published in the May 19, 2022, print edition

Morrow has a record of misdemeanor charges including traffic violations and DWI -1st offense in 2005. His most recent arrest prior to this incident was for possession of synthetic marijuana June 21, 2021.
In a separate case, Kenny Choate, 37, was indicated for first-degree rape, aggravated crimes against nature, illegal possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and illegal possession of a controlled dangerous substance in connection with what Sheriff Stuart Wright described as a “very disturbing” sex abuse case in November of 2021 in Readhimer. He was arrested April 4.
The mother of
a juvenile under the age of 14 contacted the NPSO from Orange, Texas, Police Department Nov. 7, reporting sexual misconduct involving her daughter while visiting her father’s residence. NPSO detectives interviewed the victim and arranged an independent forensic interview. Detectives learned the alleged sex abuse occurred over an eight year period.
Natchitoches Multi-Jurisdictional Drug Task Force Agents and NPSO deputies executed a search warrant of the residence, where detectives seized several firearms, suspected meth, drug paraphernalia and electronic devices.
Detectives also discovered two malnourished dogs that were seized by NPSO Animal Services Division.
On April 4, detectives went to NPDC and charged Choate with First Degree Rape, Aggravated Crimes against Nature, Sexual Abuse of an Animal and Pornography involving Juveniles. Choate’s wife, Crystal Michelle Choate, 36, was issued a citation for Cruelty to Animals and released.
The defendants will be arraigned on the charges at an upcoming court date.