Family members of the accused killer of a West St. John High School quarterbacks coach protested Monday in front of Baton Rouge City Hall, insisting Kendric Lentrell Cloud is innocent and demanding a full investigation into Juan Joseph’s death.
Cloud, 25, turned himself in to authorities about two weeks ago after police issued a warrant for his arrest in the killing of Joseph, the 27-year-old football coach. Police reports indicate that Cloud shot Joseph as the coach, a former Millsaps College standout, was trying to defuse an argument between several people.
But on Monday, Kendric Cloud’s brother and sister said their brother was at home in bed when the shooting happened.
The family members said Cloud — who they say has a reputation of being in the wrong place at the wrong time — only learned of the murder accusations when he saw an image of his face on a TV screen.
Kendall and Keyan Cloud said their brother had only been out of jail for about two weeks when police issued the warrant for his arrest in Joseph’s murder. The siblings relished their brother’s brief freedom, and now they believe his temporary liberty was stripped away unjustly, at least partly because of his criminal past.
Cloud, of Baker, spent more than a year in the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison on a drug charge before he was released on Nov. 5.
He also has been arrested and convicted on previous drug charges, court records show.
“I’m gonna be out here every day until they let him go,” said Kendall Cloud, Kendric’s 26-year-old brother, while holding up a black and white “Free Kendric Cloud” poster. Some cars honked as they drove past.
Lemark Cloud, Kendric’s 25-year-old cousin, also was arrested in Joseph’s Nov. 16 killing. Lemark Cloud, of Baton Rouge, is accused of instigating the argument that led to the shooting of Joseph then driving away along with his cousin. Lemark Cloud’s bail was set at $300,000, while Kendric Cloud’s bail was set at $500,000, Parish Prison records show.
Kendric Cloud’s family said they were not protesting on Lemark’s behalf.
Joseph, the brother of former Southern University quarterback Dray Joseph, was leaving Allure Baton Rouge, a nightclub on Bennington Avenue, in the early morning hours of Nov. 16 when an argument began between his friends and Lemark Cloud, according to police.
A black Mercedes allegedly driven by Lemark Cloud nearly struck one of Joseph’s friends in the parking lot outside the club, which led to the argument. Police reports indicate Joseph tried to quell 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 black car, police said.
Don Coppola Jr., a Baton Rouge police spokesman, said Monday that Kendric Cloud is still the accused shooter in Joseph’s killing.
Cloud’s lawyer could not be reached for comment Monday.
Cloud’s family is calling on the homicide investigators and those involved in the court process to investigate every piece of evidence in the case. They said cameras outside of the nightclub and lie detector tests will exonerate Kendric Cloud. They also said the police should not trust anonymous tips, which are cited in the warrant as contributing evidence in Kendric Cloud’s arrest in addition to statements from an eyewitness to the shooting.
“All we’ve got is each other,” Kendric Cloud’s sister, 23-year-old Keyan Cloud, said Monday. “When he hurts, we all hurt.”