On July 23, 2022, Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a report of a man who had been shot near the intersection of Sunny Hill Road and Highway 38 in the Mt. Hermon area. The investigation led to the arrest of 18 year-old Tyler Oatis and 20 year-old Jessica Mezquite.
Oatis was apprehended in Pike County, Mississippi, and extradited to Washington Parish on July 26, 2022 when he was jailed on a charge of attempted murder. Mezquite, who was determined to be with Oatis at the time of the shooting, was arrested on July 27, 2022 and jailed on a charge of being an accessory to attempted murder.
On August 9, 2022, the victim died. As a result of his death, the charge against Oatis has been upgraded to first degree murder and the charge against Mezquite has been upgraded to accessory to first degree murder. Oatis is being held with no bond. Mezquite’s bond is set at $250,000.
“The short time span between the time of the murder and the initial arrest of Oatis is indicative of the hard work of our patrol deputies and detectives,” stated Sheriff Randy Seal. “Washington Parish is blessed to have such fine officers working daily, around the clock, to protect and serve all citizens. The men and women of our Sheriff’s Office provide faithful service to all of us and for that we are grateful.”