Two men sentenced in 2008 murder

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 23, 2011



LAPLACE – A Reserve man and a Maurepas man were each sentenced to life in prison Monday for the December 2008 murder of Nakeisha Joseph of Reserve.

St. John the Baptist Parish District Court Judge Mary Hotard Becnel rendered her sentence against Jules Robertson and Calvin Mitchell Monday afternoon. Becnel said Robertson and Mitchell will not have the benefit of probation or parole.

The men also received an additional 25 years for the attempted second-degree murder of Garyville resident Ron James in the same incident. Before making her ruling, Becnel heard testimony from Joseph’s mother and Robertson’s father.

Robertson and Mitchell were convicted of second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder in a week-long trial in February.

According to a St. John Sheriff’s Office report, on Dec. 20, 2008, Joseph and James were sitting inside James’s vehicle in the 200 block of East 24th Street when two men approached and attempted to rob them. James, who testified at the trial, told deputies during the investigation that the men approached armed with guns and yelled, “Give it up!”

The report said James slammed on the car’s accelerator, but as the car sped off, the alleged robbers opened fire on the vehicle. Joseph, who was sitting in the front passenger seat, was hit multiple times and pronounced dead at the scene while James suffered gunshot wounds to the leg and was treated and released from River Parishes Hospital.

Also on Monday, in an unrelated case, a LaPlace man was sentenced to 10 years in prison for theft charges.

Gregory Bernard was sentenced to hard labor with the Department of Corrections for pleading guilty to theft valued at more than $500, according to a release from the St. John the Baptist Parish District Attorney’s Office.

Bernard, who stole a lawn mower, has three prior convictions and a long list of past arrests. He was recommended to the IMPACT Program for drug rehabilitation.