Man convicted of killing two St. John the Baptist Parish deputies sentenced to death
EDGARD, La. - The man found guilty for the ambush-style attack that killed two St. John the Baptist Parish deputies has been given the death penalty Sunday morning.
On Friday Kyle Joekel was found guilty on two counts of first-degree murder in the 2012 slaying of St. John Sheriff’s Office deputies Brandon Nielsen and Jeremy Triche at the Scenic Riverview Trailer Park in LaPlace in August.
Joekel's attorneys argued that Brian Smith also fired shots at the deputies. Smith is currently being held in a mental hospital unable to stand trial.
Prosecutors claim that Joekel and Smith were members of an anti-government extremist group called "Sovereign Citizens." The group operates out of the Scenic Riverview trailer park in LaPlace, where Nielsen and Triche were killed.
This sentencing comes two days after a new bill was proposed to eliminate the death penalty in Louisiana. The most recent execution in Louisiana was held on Jan. 7, 2010, more than a decade ago. Corrections officials say they can't obtain lethal injection drugs amid pushback from pharmaceutical manufacturers, which has put a halt on executing death row inmates. Click here to read more.
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