Denham Springs man convicted of killing a person, dumping body into Blind River Canal _lowres

Joshua Mitchell

A Denham Springs man on trial for shooting a Walker man and dumping the body into the Blind River Canal was convicted of second-degree murder and obstruction of justice by a Livingston Parish jury Friday.

Joshua Mitchell, 26, pleaded not guilty to the murder charge and not guilty by reason of insanity to the obstruction charge, said Autumn Payton, spokeswoman for the 21st Judicial District Attorney’s office.

Investigators have said that in February 2013, Mitchell shot Brandon Steele Parnell, 26, of Walker, in the head while the two were inside Parnell’s van in the Denham Springs area. Mitchell then put Parnell’s body in the canal, where it was later discovered by a fisherman about two miles south of the Ascension and St. James parish line.

Deputies found Mitchell at a house where investigators in a helicopter spotted Parnell’s van. He was charged with obstruction of justice because he tried to clean the vehicle to hide evidence of the shooting.

A conviction of second-degree murder carries an automatic life sentence.