October 24, 2020  |  11:13 am


The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office has arrested a second individual in connection with the murder of Everett Wayne Finely. Melissa Smith (DOB 2/26/1996), was arrested Saturday (October 24 morning at a residence in Waynesboro, Mississippi. She was booked into the Wayne County Jail as a fugitive out of St. Tammany Parish. She is currently en route to the St. Tammany Parish Jail, where she will be booked on one count of L.R.S. 14:25 Accessory After the Fact. Smith assisted Dickerson in hiding evidence of the crime.


The St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office has made an arrest in connection with a murder that occurred earlier this year at a residence on Wilson Road near Abita Springs.

At approximately 3 a.m. on August 12, the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call from an individual claiming he had been shot. Deputies arrived at a residence located in the 21000 block of Wilson Road near Abita Springs, and located a man, who was later identified as 61-year-old Everett Wayne Finely (also known as James Finley and "Gator”), suffering from a gunshot wound. Medical personnel transported Finely to a local hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries.

After a lengthy investigation, STPSO detectives were led to a former coworker of Finley’s, Robert Dickerson (DOB 8/30/1963) of Covington, as a potential suspect.

While being questioned by detectives, Dickerson confessed to shooting Finley.

He was arrested for one count of L.R.S. 14:30.1 Second-degree Murder and booked into the St. Tammany Parish Jail. Dickerson was also booked on warrants for one count each of L.R.S. 14:69.1 Possession of Stolen Firearms and L.R.S. 40:1785 Illegal Possession of Unregistered Weapons.

This is an ongoing investigation, and no additional information will be released at this time.

“I am very proud of our detectives who worked this case, following every available lead to identify the person responsible so he can be brought to justice and victim’s family and friends can have closure,” Sheriff Randy Smith said.