The Baton Rouge Police Department arrested and charged Earl Lee Johnson Jr., 35, with first-degree murder for the killing of 34-year-old Janice David on Monday evening. The police department issued a media release following Johnson’s arrest and released a picture of the suspect.
“Baton Rouge Police Homicide Detectives are investigating the murder of Janice David, 34, [of] 4304 Byron Street. David was found deceased in a vehicle at 3636 South Sherwood Forest Boulevard around 9:52 p.m. [Monday night],” the statement read.
Police also explained why Johnson was already in police custody when David’s body was discovered. They noted that a live-stream video showing David being stabbed was brought to their attention before they discovered the body.
“East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office Detectives were notified by State Police of a Facebook Live Video that recorded a male stabbing a female,” the statement continued.
“Deputies located the vehicle and notified Baton Rouge Police of their findings. Baton Rouge Police Officers arrested Earl Lee Johnson Jr, 35, [of] 12615 Britain Drive [Monday evening] around 5:25 p.m. prior to being aware of his involvement in David’s murder.
“Johnson was involved in the theft of a vehicle and was apprehended and arrested for Theft of a Motor Vehicle and Aggravated Flight from an Officer. Johnson was booked into East Baton Rough Parish Prison for 1st Degree Murder.”
Baton Rouge Police Department spokesperson L’Jean McKneely also held a press conference discussing the incident.
During the press conference, he said investigations were still ongoing for the motive behind the killing. McKneely said that the suspect knew the victim and the pair had taken drugs together for at least three days prior to the killing.
“Initially we made contact with this individual around 5 p.m. [Monday] evening, he had apparently stolen somebody’s car,” McKneely said.
“The victim came out and saw that he was in the car and notified authorities. We made contact with that vehicle and it was a short pursuit and after that we were able to apprehend him.
“So we had him in custody prior to learning of his actions involve with the Facebook Live video.”
McKneely said that when they did discover David’s body, after being notified of the video, they interviewed Johnson. He said Johnson admitted to committing the killing and remains in police custody.
McKneely closed by saying: “The victim’s family has been notified and they are in shock.
“What we do believe is that they had been on three-four day drug binge together. From there, at the end of it, he choked her, he beat her and he stabbed her and from there, he tried to set the car on fire.
“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.”