Baton Rouge Slayings

Sep 20, 2017

An aunt of the 23-year-old white man accused of killing two black men in Baton Rouge says his arrest has left her shocked and baffled.

Kerrie Highley, a maternal aunt of 23-year-old Kenneth James Gleason, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that her nephew was an Eagle Scout from a church-going family. She said she never heard him express any racist views.

Police say last week's slayings may have been racially motivated. A law enforcement official said Tuesday that authorities found a handwritten copy of an Adolf Hitler speech at Gleason's home. Investigators said surveillance footage and DNA on a shell casing link him to the crimes.

Highley, of Galveston, Texas, says she hasn't seen Gleason since a family trip to Thailand nearly two years ago. She described him as a quiet, polite person who "didn't fit anything violent."