Lebanon police say license plate reader helped capture murder suspect

Posted at 6:21 PM, Apr 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-15 19:54:11-04

LEBANON, Tenn. (WTVF) — Lebanon police officials said a license plate reader helped officers arrest Laquentin Raymond Hearn in the murder of Dominic Cellucci.

LPD responded Wednesday to a residence on Wilson Avenue in reference to a shooting. Upon arrival, officers found Cellucci, 20, with multiple gunshot wounds. He would later be pronounced dead at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

On scene, witnesses said that the suspect vehicle was a silver car with black wheels and believed it was possibly a Nissan.

Detectives reviewed a nearby camera and found a silver car matching the suspect vehicle turning onto Wilson Avenue moments before the shooting was reported.

"From that image, you really couldn't you couldn't tell if it was a Toyota or Nissan or whatever, you know. It could have been a Chevy Impala. But nonetheless, as things started to happen, we then utilized our LPRs or license plate reader camera system," said Lt. PJ Hardy.

Hardy said since they used the license plate reader camera system, they were able to find a vehicle matching the description in the area of Coles Ferry within 30 minutes of the shooting.

From that picture, detectives obtained a tag number and were able to clearly identify the vehicle as being a Toyota Camry.

LPD Officer Rourke spotted a silver Toyota Camry in the area of South Maple and Quita Circle but at that point noticed that the vehicle did not have black wheels.

"Because they were silver and so but nonetheless, he came up on the vehicle saw the tag, and the tag matched what we saw on the LPR, so he said well, 'I'll just go ahead and pull it over and just see you know what I have,'" Hardy said.

Officer Rourke got behind the car and confirmed by the tag that it was in fact the suspect vehicle. When a stop was attempted, the driver took off and later lost control which resulted in the crash on Interstate 40.

After a short foot chase — and the assistance of the Mt. Juliet Police and the Wilson County Sheriff's Office — Hearn was detained.

Hearn was uninjured and taken to the Lebanon Police Department to be interviewed.

During the interview, Hearn told detectives that he did in fact change his hubcaps in an attempt to avoid detection. During a search of the car’s trunk, detectives found the black hubcaps that were on the suspect vehicle during the shooting.

"At the end of the day, you know someone lost their life, and we can't change that. We can't alter that piece of it. But at least for the family and for those involved, there was closure," said Hardy.

Hearn was charged with criminal homicide