A Baton Rouge man has been indicted on murder and weapons charges in the Nov. 13 shooting death of a 33-year-old man who sheriff’s officials say died trying to keep suspected drug dealers out of his neighborhood in the Gardere area.
Ronald Joseph Jr., 30, is charged with second-degree murder in the slaying of Charles Barney. An East Baton Rouge Parish grand jury also indicted Joseph, 1639 Starboard Drive, on Thursday on counts of illegal use of a weapon and possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number.
Barney was sitting in a car with his girlfriend outside her apartment on Starboard when he noticed a man in another vehicle who appeared to be selling drugs, so he walked over and confronted the man, the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff’s Office has said.
About 30 minutes after the heated argument that ensued, the man — identified by authorities as Joseph — shot Barney as the victim walked across the street to talk to relatives, sheriff’s officials said.
Joseph faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison if found guilty on the murder charge.
The case has been assigned to state District Judge Bonnie Jackson.