Tenant arrest in murder of civil activist in Baton Rouge

WWL Newsroom
July 17, 2019 - 7:16 am

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Police in Baton Rouge arrested a 38-year-old man in the murder of civil activist Sadie Roberts-Joseph.   The 75-year-old was found dead in her trunk on Friday. Chief Murphy Paul says 38-year-old Ronn Jermaine Bell has been charged with first-degree murder.  Bell was a tenant of Roberts-Joseph.  

“We believe that he was behind several months on his rent, we believe around $1,200 was owed,” said Paul.   

Roberts-Joseph was the founder of Baton Rouge’s African American history museum and her murder shook the community because of her kindness.

Paul credits great police work for making an arrest just a few days after her death.

“We have some of the best homicide detectives in the country, thank you for your hard work and commitment, even in the midst of a storm, we appreciate your efforts,” said Paul

Baton Rouge Police have made an arrest in the murder of civil activist Sadie Roberts-Joseph. Paul says they don’t have an exact motive, but Bell was a tenant in one of her rent houses.

A preliminary autopsy found that Roberts-Joseph died from being suffocated.  Bell has been charged with first-degree murder, prosecutors can seek the death penalty but East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar Moore says a decision on that has not been made.  

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