A state judge Tuesday let stand a Baton Rouge man’s life without parole sentence for the 2005 shooting death of 22-year-old Daniel Magee, giving Magee’s parents hope that they’ve come to the 19th Judicial District Courthouse for the final time.
“As the victim’s family, it’s just unending for us. Hopefully it ended for us today,” Mary Magee, with husband Steve at her side, said outside District Judge Richard Anderson’s courtroom.
Minutes earlier, Anderson denied Anthony Johnson’s motion to reconsider the life without possibility of parole term the judge has twice imposed on Johnson, 30.
Johnson, who was 17 when he fatally shot Daniel Magee, had asked Anderson to give him a chance at release after serving 25 years in prison for the Dec. 11, 2005, slaying.
A decade to the day from when an East Baton Rouge Parish jury convicted Anthony Johnson of second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of 22-ye…
Anderson denied the request after East Baton Rouge Parish Assistant District Attorney Dana Cummings told the judge that Johnson had racked up an additional 45 disciplinary infractions at the Louisiana State Penitentiary since April 2017, when the judge resentenced Johnson to life without parole.
Anderson had imposed an automatic life without parole sentence in 2007 after Johnson was convicted of second-degree murder, but the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2012 in an Alabama case that automatic life terms for juvenile killers are unconstitutional and said they are entitled to hearings to determine whether they're capable of reform.
The high court decided in 2016, in the case of an East Baton Rouge Parish sheriff’s deputy fatally shot by a 17-year-old boy in 1963, that its ruling should apply retroactively.
Anderson held Johnson's hearing in March 2017. A state corrections official testified at that hearing that Johnson had amassed 39 disciplinary reports up to that point while at Angola. The infractions included performing a sexual act in front of a female correctional officer, being caught with contraband, and battery on a corrections officer.
The mother of a Baton Rouge man shot to death by a 17-year-old boy in 2005 told a judge Tuesday it would be "cruel and unusual punishment" for…
Cummings said Tuesday that Johnson's disciplinary infractions have skyrocketed to 84 since the spring of 2017.
“He has more than doubled the number of violations since he last came to court,” the prosecutor told the judge.
Johnson’s attorney, Bob Tucker, urged Anderson to resentence Johnson due to his “tender age” at the time of the slaying. Tucker argued at the 2017 hearing that the teenager who killed Magee cannot be compared to an adult.
“His brain has had plenty of time to develop,” Cummings countered Tuesday. “His behavior has gotten worse. He’s a dangerous individual.”
Tucker reminded Anderson that Johnson is housed at Angola, a maximum-security prison.
“It is not difficult in Angola to get a write-up for anything,” he told the judge.
Tucker went on to say he believes there’s a possibility that Johnson can be reformed.
“I deny the motion to reconsider. His sentence will remain the same,” the judge said.
Magee was shot while driving his vehicle. His body was left along River Road. Prosecutors said Johnson was in the front seat when he shot Magee.
Another 17-year-old in the car, Robert Louis Edwards, pleaded guilty to being an accessory to second-degree murder and was sentenced to five years in prison. All but 18 months of that sentence were suspended.