For Immediate Release
|July 01, 2009||
Corey Britt, Deputy United
Lafayette, Louisiana (337) 262-6792
|U.S. Marshals Arrest 'America's Most Wanted' Fugitive James Francis|
On June 30th at approximately 6:30 p.m. members of the U.S. Marshals Gulf Coast Violent Offenders Task Force in Houston arrested sixty year old James Francis at the Best Classic Suites in North Houston. Francis was Wanted by the Lafayette Police Department for 2nd Degree Murder. Lafayette PD Detectives allege that on August 31, 2008 James Francis and his brother, Michael Francis arrived at the Food World grocery/convenient store in Lafayette, LA. Michael Francis went into the store, got into an argument with the store owner about how the owner bagged his beer. The owner then followed Michael Francis into the parking lot and that is where Michael’s brother, James Francis allegedly shot the store owner, Qaher Abualoff. Mr. Abualoff died two days later.
Approximately one week later, Michael
Francis surrendered to the Lafayette Police Department, but James
Francis remained a fugitive. On January 7, 2009 the Western District of
Louisiana’s (WDLA) Fugitive Task Force in Lafayette adopted this
fugitive investigation. Several leads were developed, but nothing
significant. In April, 2009 the U.S. Marshals contacted America’s Most
Wanted (AMW) requesting assistance. AMW agreed to air Francis and on
June 13th Francis appeared on AMW as a 15-Seconds of Shame fugitive.
U.S. Marshals received very few tips that night and the days that
followed. However, on June 30th a caller called the U.S. Marshals in
Lafayette and stated that she saw Francis on America’s Most Wanted and
saw him this past Saturday at a Wal-Mart in Houston. The caller went on
to say that she was 100% sure Francis was the person she saw. Finally,
the caller stated that she saw him again this past Sunday in the parking
lot of the Best Classic Suites in Houston. WDLA forwarded that
information to the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force in Houston (Gulf
Coast Violent Offenders Task Force) who immediately responded to the
motel. Three separate interviews with personnel at the motel led
investigators to believe that Francis was in fact at the motel. U.S.
Marshals task force members were able to confirm that Francis was in a
particular room and they safely arrested him at approximately 6:30 p.m.