One brother is serving a life prison term after a jury found him guilty of murder last year. Another faces a retrial for the same slaying, after a different jury deadlocked last month in the 2010 killing of Chad Huth in an armed break-in turned deadly.
And this week, the youngest of the three Lee brothers, 22-year-old Lionel Lee, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and obstruction of justice in a separate killing, accepting a 50-year prison term in a deal with Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office.
Lionel Lee and Christopher Covington, 24, both had faced second-degree murder counts. Their guilty pleas came on the morning of their scheduled trial. Each man accepted a half-century behind bars in the slaying of 24-year-old Bobby Battles shortly after noon June 1, 2013, in the 2900 block of Preston Place in Algiers.
Criminal District Court Judge Byron C. Williams sentenced them to the maximum 40-year term for manslaughter, adding a consecutive 10-year sentence for obstruction of justice.
Their guilty pleas came less than a month after a jury in a different courtroom couldn’t agree on counts of second-degree murder, attempted murder and aggravated battery in Christopher Lee’s alleged role in Huth’s killing and the shooting of a friend at Huth’s Gentilly home.
Christopher Lee had an alibi witness in Keisha Sterling, the grandmother of his young son. Sterling told the jury that Christopher Lee was inside her home in the 9th Ward, wearing pajamas and taking care of his baby boy around the time a group of armed intruders blasted into Huth’s home.
Joshua Lee had no such alibi, and a jury in May convicted him on the same charges.
Following Huth’s killing, police homed in on the brothers’ house through records indicating that a phone stolen from one of Huth’s friends was there.
When police showed up with a search warrant at the house on Hendee Street in Algiers, Lionel Lee identified a gun that police later linked to Huth’s murder, saying it belonged to his older brother Joshua.
Three years later, Lionel Lee was facing his own murder charge.
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