A 16-year-old Baton Rouge boy with a lengthy juvenile record will be tried as an adult on an attempted murder charge that accuses him of firing at a man on North Acadian Thruway after the boy’s 18-year-old associate ordered him to “burn” the man.
Keion Johnson, 2005 N. 38th St., was just 15 at the time of the Oct. 28 shooting — one that East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore III called “random and callous.”
Assistant District Attorney Curtis Nelson filed a motion Thursday in 19th Judicial District Court to have Johnson transferred from juvenile custody to Parish Prison. He was indicted Wednesday on an attempted second-degree murder charge by an East Baton Rouge Parish grand jury.
“The decision to transfer and try as an adult was based on his extensive juvenile history and prior attempts to rehabilitate in the juvenile system,” Moore said, adding that the public safety of Baton Rouge demands Johnson’s transfer.
A conviction on the attempted murder charge carries a penalty of 10 to 50 years in prison. Johnson’s case has been assigned to state District Judge Beau Higginbotham. It’s unclear whether Johnson has attorney.
Sidney Ellois III, the 18-year-old who police allege instructed Johnson to “burn” the man walking on North Acadian, is currently booked on a host of counts, including second-degree murder, principal to attempted second-degree murder, armed robbery, illegal possession of a stolen firearm, contributing to the delinquency of a juvenile and aggravated cruelty to animals.
In the October incident, Ellois and the boy began following the man as he walked home from work, an arrest warrant says. When the man noticed he was being followed and began looking over his shoulder, Ellois shouted, “What … you looking at? I will make my boy burn you,” the warrant states.
The tension escalated and Ellois began running at the victim as he ordered the 16-year-old to “burn him.” The teenager opened fire and the man escaped unharmed, Cpl. L’Jean McKneely, a Baton Rouge Police spokesman, has said.
“The victim was targeted in broad daylight,” Moore noted. “Multiple shots were fired at the victim as he was walking home and asked to be left alone.”
The victim found Ellois on Instagram — an online mobile photo-sharing, video-sharing and social networking site — and referred police to the account, which helped officers identify him as a suspect.
Ellois was arrested last month in the Jan. 11 shooting death of Calvin Smith, 19, who was found unresponsive and with multiple gunshot wounds in the parking lot of Carlins Food Mart on Plank Road.
Ellois, whose most recent address is listed as 3049 Iroquois St., also is accused in a string of other crimes that occurred over the past few months — including intentionally starving his dog to death.
In late September, Ellois allegedly acted as a lookout while another man armed with a gun robbed a woman of her purse, which contained $2,900, according to an arrest warrant.
The victim in that incident told police that she found a photo of Ellois and the other man on Instagram. The two were holding a large amount of money — roughly the same amount that was missing from her purse — and the photo was posted after the robbery took place, the warrant says.