HALIFAX — A man who was already behind bars has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder and one of attempted murder more than a year and a half after the incidents, Halifax police said on Saturday.
Supt. Jim Perrin said Tyrell Peter Dechamp, 27, was arrested this week after investigators sifted through “mountains of evidence” and combed a Nova Scotia lake.
He is charged in the deaths of 29-year-old Tyler Richards and 23-year-old Naricho Clayton.
Richards, a former university basketball player who went on to play for the now-defunct Halifax Rainmen, was found dead in a home on April 17, 2016.
Police said Clayton was killed two days later — shot to death in a vehicle alongside another man who suffered life-threatening injuries.
Dechamp was charged with attempted murder in the shooting of that man, Perrin said.
“We hope that the charges announced today will bring some measure of comfort to Tyler and Naricho’s family and their friends as well as the surviving victim,” Perrin told reporters on Saturday.
Perrin said police believe all the parties knew each other, but declined to comment on a motive.
“As you can appreciate, laying of a first-degree murder charge, it’s the most serious charge that the police investigate, and we want to make sure that our case is as strong as possible before we advance it to that point,” Perrin said.
He said that this week, police finally felt they were in a position to make an arrest and put the matter before the courts.
Police are open to the idea that other people may have been involved, he said, and the files remain under investigation.
Investigators say Dechamp will appear in a Halifax courtroom on Monday to face the murder and attempted murder charges.
A Canada-wide warrant was issued for Dechamp’s arrest in April 2016 after police said he was considered unlawfully at large when he didn’t return to his Halifax home by a curfew.
At the time, police said Dechamp had a history of violence, but would not reveal whether his case was related to Richards’ and Clayton’s death.
Adina Bresge, The Canadian Press