WASHINGTON PARISH, La (BRPROUD) — A man accused of murdering a Bogalusa bar owner and stealing money from the pub’s ATM could face the death penalty, according to a statement from the Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office.

On Thursday, March 3, pub owner named Marl Wayne Smith was shot and killed. All of the money from the ATM in the pub was taken by the same suspect who allegedly shot Smith.

Police say the believed suspect, 51-year-old David Rester, Jr. of Vidalia, was involved in another crime the next day in Harrison County, MS.

On Friday, March 4, WPSO reports Rester allegedly robbed a bank in Waveland and then led officers on a high-speed chase, at one point exceeding speeds of 120 mph.

Rester was arrested after the pursuit.

When the WPSO was alerted to the suspect’s arrest, a detective went to Mississippi and spoke with him.

The suspect “admitted to murdering and robbing Marl Wayne Smith on March 3,” according to the WPSO.

Police say along with the confession, evidence collected during Rester’s arrest “linked him to the murder in Washington Parish.”

Further investigation has tied Rester to a robbery and sexual assault that took place in Pearl River last month.

Rester faces charges in Harrison County, Washington Parish, and St. Tammany Parish. In Washington Parish, the 51-year-old will be charged with First Degree Murder and Armed Robbery. WPSO says charges in St. Tammany Parish are forthcoming.

Multiple agencies took part in this investigation, including:

  • Washington Parish Sheriff’s Office
  • St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office
  • Waveland Police Department
  • Hancock County Sheriff’s Office
  • Harrison County Sheriff’s Office
  • Pearl River County Sheriff’s Office
  • Louisiana State Police Crime Lab

“We are charging Rester with first-degree murder and will be seeking the death penalty upon conviction,” stated Sheriff Randy Seal. “Circumstances of the murder justify the charge of murder in the first degree and Rester has undeniably earned his date with the executioner. His imprisonment and execution will not return Marl Wayne Smith to his family and friends, but will help bring closure to a senseless and unconscionable cold-blooded murder.”