A Baton Rouge man charged as an accessory in the Nov. 16 slaying of West St. John High School quarterbacks coach Juan Joseph outside a Bennington Avenue nightclub pleaded not guilty Thursday.
Alleged getaway driver Lemark Cloud, 26, of Baton Rouge, is the cousin of Joseph’s accused killer, Kendric Cloud, 25, of Baker.
East Baton Rouge Parish prosecutors filed a bill of information Jan. 21 charging Lemark Cloud with obstruction of justice, felon in possession of a firearm and accessory to second-degree murder.
Kendric Cloud currently is booked into Parish Prison on counts of second-degree murder, illegal use of a weapon and possession of an illegal firearm by a convicted felon. He has not been indicted by a grand jury or charged by prosecutors.
District Attorney Hillar Moore III said Thursday that the investigation into Kendric Cloud’s culpability in the matter is ongoing. A grand jury will hear evidence and consider charges against him in March, he added.
Family members of Kendric Cloud have proclaimed his innocence in protests in front of Baton Rouge City Hall.
Lemark Cloud’s attorney, Brent Stockstill, said after Cloud’s arraignment that he has seen no evidence that his client committed a crime.
“Given the limited information I have right now, the mere fact that you’re at the scene of a shooting doesn’t subject you to criminal penalties,” he said outside state District Judge Richard Anderson’s courtroom. “I just don’t see a crime yet, but perhaps the state has evidence I’m not aware of.”
Joseph, a former Millsaps College standout and brother of former Southern University quarterback Dray Joseph, was leaving Allure Baton Rouge with two other men in the early morning hours of Nov. 16 when an argument began between his friends and Lemark Cloud, according to police.
Lemark Cloud is accused of instigating the argument.
A black Mercedes allegedly driven by Lemark Cloud nearly struck one of Joseph’s friends in the parking lot outside the club. A verbal argument ensued, and that’s when Lemark Cloud got out of the car and showed Joseph and his friends that he had a handgun, an arrest warrant states.
Police reports indicate Joseph, 27, tried to defuse the situation and avoid a fight after Lemark Cloud pulled out a gun.
At some point, according to police, Kendric Cloud stepped out of the Mercedes and fatally shot Joseph. The Clouds then sped away together in the car, police said.