Suspect had links to slain Reserve couple, report shows _lowres

Horatio Johnson

A state judge sentenced a man convicted in the infamous 2014 killings of a Reserve couple to a life sentence plus 60 years in prison on Wednesday, according to a spokesman for Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro.

Orleans Parish Criminal District Court Judge Benedict Willard handed the unusual sentence down to Horatio Johnson, 41, who was convicted Thursday in the February 19, 2014 murders of Kenneth and Lakeitha Joseph.

Police said that the Josephs were tied to 30-pound kettlebells then tossed off the I-510 “Green Bridge” between New Orleans East and Chalmette. They drowned to death in the Intracoastal Waterway, according to authorities.

In a nearly two-week trial, prosecutors presented evidence that Johnson orchestrated the killings of the Josephs. They showed video of him buying the kettlebells with his then-girlfriend, who also testified that she saw Johnson choking Lakeitha Joseph.

A jury convicted Johnson of two counts of second-degree murder, one count of obstruction of justice and one count of conspiracy to obstruction of justice. The obstruction charges allowed Willard to tack on additional years beyond the term of his natural life.

Co-defendant Steven Bradley, who refused to testify against Johnson despite an offer of limited immunity, it still awaiting trial. A pre-trial conference for him is set for Thursday.

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msledge@theadvocate.com | (504) 636-7432