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  1. #121
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    Oct 2014
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    Man held in contempt in N.O. double murder trial; refuses to testify in case of slain Reserve couple

    In an unusual development, a judge in New Orleans on Wednesday held a man in contempt of court for refusing to testify against a fellow defendant in the killing of a couple whose bodies were found in the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway in 2014.

    Bradley was given a signed letter from the Orleans Parish district attorney and the Louisiana attorney general promising that nothing he said Wednesday could be used against him when he has his own day in court.

    But when Bradley took the witness stand in Criminal District Court, clad in an orange jail jumpsuit, nothing could make him budge. Over and over again, he asserted his right against self-incrimination. Even when a prosecutor asked if he had a lawyer, he cited the Fifth Amendment.
    Reserve couple drownings trial halted by appellate court

    Willard refused to bring Bradley back into court Wednesday, and jurors were dismissed minutes later. Thornton informed the judge that the state planned to appeal his decision. Willard replied, "Good luck with that," and denied a request for a stay.

    The 4th Circuit imposed the emergency stay before the trial could resume Thursday morning, and ruled late in the afternoon.

    The state's appeal -- lodged simultaneously with the 4th Circuit and the state Supreme Court -- said its case would be "irreparably harmed," should prosecutors not be allowed to continue questioning Bradley and eventually play his statement to police.
    http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/...ngs_trial.html

    48-year-old Frank Mike Jr., testified at length Wednesday about how his "street nephew" Bradley, accompanied by Johnson, had brought to his New Orleans East house a silver Dodge Caravan that had been borrowed by the Josephs before their disappearance. Mike told jurors that even though he was warned there was blood inside the van, he felt confident he could drive the vehicle to Atlanta without getting stopped by authorities. He said he ditched the vehicle at an apartment complex outside that city after seeing on the news that it had been linked to the missing couple.
    Dozens of disturbing images of the Josephs' bound and bloated corpses flashed on a television screen, showing the condition in which the bodies were found when recovered 12 days apart in March 2014 after weeks underwater.

    Forensic pathologists Dr. Erin O'Sullivan and Dr. Richard Tracy, who performed autopsies on the victims for the Orleans Parish Coroner's office, confirmed each victim died from homicidal drowning. Both victims' faces had been disfigured by marine predation. The woman's body had a fractured right lower leg and a hematoma under the left side of her scalp indicating she had been struck. But neither victim exhibited injuries so severe as to cause death, leaving asphyxia due to drowning as the determined cause.

  2. #122
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    Mistrial declared in Reserve couple drownings case

    The tumultuous double-murder trial of Horatio Johnson in the Reserve couple drownings case was halted by a mistrial declaration late Friday afternoon (Aug. 25), after a key witness revealed to jurors the defendant's previous manslaughter conviction.

    After a brief meeting in chambers with case attorneys, Criminal District Judge Ben Willard told jurors, "I believe I have no option but to declare a mistrial. ... I hate to do this, but I'm trying to err on the side of caution."

    Prosecutors immediately protested Willard's decision and signaled their intent to appeal the ruling to the state Supreme Court.

    Jurors in the case were ordered to return Monday at 9 a.m. to learn whether the trial will be re-instituted.

  3. #123
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    Horatio Johnson found guilty of Reserve couple's drowning murders

    Horatio Johnson was found guilty of the February 2014 drowning murders of Reserve couple Kenneth and Lakeitha Joseph, by a New Orleans jury that deliberated just less than two hours Thursday (Aug. 31).

    Johnson, 41, will receive mandatory life sentences for the killings when sentenced Sept. 5 by Criminal District Judge Ben Willard. Johnson also was found guilty of obstruction of justice and conspiracy to obstruct justice by the jury of seven women and five men.
    Bradley, 31, is awaiting his own murder trial in the case. Ybarra, 34, is a fugitive whom authorities believe has fled the country.

    Guillory told jurors he has waited more than three years for the chance to put Johnson away for the gruesome murders.

    "This is the coldest, most gangsta cat I have ever had the honor of prosecuting," Guillory said. "A man so cold he went to Walmart, purchased a murder kit, tied up his cousin (Kenneth Joseph) and his wife, and tossed them over a bridge into the water with kettlebells. And then, when they came up, he went to the funeral and told this family everything's going to be all right.

    "You think about somebody that's got the audacity to do that."
    Mistrial ruling overturned in Reserve couple drownings case

    Reserve couple drownings suspect arranged fake evidence, phony alibi, friend testifies

  4. #124
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    Oct 2014
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    Maryland
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    Horatio Johnson sentenced to life plus 60 years for kettlebell drowning murders

    Horatio Johnson, convicted last week of the brutal drowning murders of Reserve's Kenneth and Lakeitha Joseph, was sentenced Wednesday (Sept. 6) to serve life plus 60 years in state prison by a New Orleans judge.

    Family members of the victims embraced in a courthouse hallway moments after being given the opportunity to address Johnson from the witness stand. Lakeitha Joseph's mother Terry Hart told the convicted double-murderer, "The hell gate is open. There's a place waiting for you."
    http://www.theadvocate.com/new_orlea...fa4450783.html

    Co-defendant Steven Bradley, who refused to testify against Johnson despite an offer of limited immunity, it still awaiting trial. A pre-trial conference for him is set for Thursday.

  5. #125
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    Murder trial begins for man accused in Reserve couple drowning

    http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/...ve_murder.html

    Steven Bradley, 32, was indicted by a grand jury in August 2014, with two counts of second-degree murder and one count of obstruction of justice. Bradley was originally charged only with obstruction of justice for allegedly failing to report the killings to the police.

    "We are here today because Steven Bradley is a cold-blooded killer. Steven Bradley is a murderer," Mitchell said to the jury.

    According to the statement, the prosecution believes Bradley was present during the killings of the Joseph's, helped dispose of their bodies and later got rid of a van that was used during the murders and to transport the victims' bodies.

  6. #126
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    May 2013
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    Man who hid van connected to Reserve couple's murder testifies in trial of 2nd accused killer

    http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/...frank_mik.html

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