Killer tied woman to steering wheel, stabbed her to death on Facebook Live
BATON ROUGE - A woman was found dead in the parking lot of an office building on Sherwood Forest Boulevard late Monday night, hours after she was tied up and repeatedly stabbed during an attack that was livestreamed on social media.
Police discovered 34-year-old Janice David's body shortly before 10 p.m. near Sherwood Tower. Her body was found inside a vehicle, and officials said it appeared someone tried to set it on fire.
The victim was bound to the car's steering wheel with jumper cables, and the attack went on for over 15 minutes, sources told WBRZ's Chief Investigator Chris Nakamoto.
On Tuesday, the Baton Rouge Police Department announced Earl Lee Johnson Jr., 35, had been arrested for first-degree murder. During a news conference, police said Johnson and David had been on a days-long "drug binge" before he choked, beat and stabbed her.
"Apparently they were involved in some drug usage together for a couple of days and the end result—as everyone has seen on Facebook Live—is a very gruesome, very evil act," BRPD spokesperson L'Jean McKneely said.
Police said Johnson had been arrested around 5:30 p.m. Monday on a completely unrelated charge after he stole a car and fled officers. Police now believe that crime happened shortly after Johnson dumped the other vehicle with David's body inside.
While Johnson was in custody for stealing the car, Facebook notified the East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office and State Police about the grisly video. That tip led sheriff's deputies to the Sherwood Tower parking lot, and the case was then turned over to Baton Rouge police.
After learning about the video, police held Johnson in custody and questioned him about the killing.
"We interviewed him," McKneely said. "He admitted to committing the killing."
Court records show Johnson was convicted of armed robbery in 2007—related to a 2005 arrest—and got a 15-year sentence with credit for time served. He was just released from prison in January.
On Wednesday, a judge ordered that Johnson remain jailed without bond.