A state district judge denied Tavis Joseph a new trial in the 2013 killing of two Southern University students in Harvey and sentenced him to life in prison on Monday.
Joseph, 22, was convicted in July of two counts of second-degree murder for the shooting of Nikiayh Westerfield and David Harrison in the 4000 block of Paige Janette Drive.
Joseph hired a new attorney after the verdict, leading to delays in his sentencing, but on Monday Judge Cornelius Regan gave him two life sentences to be served concurrently and without the benefit of parole, probation or suspended sentence.
Prosecutors said Joseph was part of a group of men who tried to rob Westerfield and Harrison after arranging to buy marijuana from them and ended up shooting into their car, killing them.
Joseph, who had no prior criminal record, claimed he was elsewhere at the time, but his alibi — his former girlfriend — failed to convince a jury he wasn’t at the scene of the deadly shooting. Prosecutors had incriminating photos, cell phone records and video footage of Joseph and three others dropping an injured member of their group off at West Jefferson Medical Center.
Irvin Harris, of Harvey, was sentenced in January 2015 to life in prison for second-degree murder, while Jeremy Coleman, the injured accomplice from Waggaman, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in exchange for his testimony.
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