By James Minton
August 30, 2012
CLINTON — An East Feliciana Parish jury convicted a Port Hudson woman of second-degree murder Thursday in the death of a man whose beaten and burned body was found in a swampy area off La. 965 in December 2007.
Twentieth Judicial District Judge Sam D’Aquilla said jurors voted 11-1 to return the guilty verdict against Josie Morgan, 40, in the death of Andre Turner, 38.
The jury deliberated about an hour.
Twentieth Judicial District Judge George H. Ware Jr. set Morgan’s sentencing for Sept. 18 and said he will hear any post-trial motions at that time, D’Aquilla said.
A second-degree murder conviction carries an automatic life sentence.
The district attorney said Morgan still faces an armed robbery charge in West Feliciana Parish.
Assistant District Attorney Betsy Jones said Morgan and three other people, including Turner, were involved in the armed robbery of a West Feliciana Parish bar owner a few hours before Turner was killed.
Jones said the four divided about $6,000 of the bar owner’s money among themselves at a Scenic Highway motel after the holdup. Turner later got into a fight with Lionel “L-Dog” Allen, one of the robbers, as the four traveled on Carney Road near Zachary.
Jonova Walker, 34, testified against Morgan in the trial that began with jury selection Monday, saying Morgan beat Turner with a baseball bat and ran over him with a car.
Turner’s body was set on fire after being dumped near Thompson Creek in East Feliciana Parish. Jones said the autopsy report shows Turner was still alive when he was doused with gasoline.
Allen, 55, of Jackson, was acquitted last year of second-degree murder in Turner’s death, and Walker will be allowed to plead guilty to obstruction of justice in the case.
Defense attorney Benn Hamilton told jurors Wednesday the case against Morgan was built on lies concocted by “the Devil Queen herself.”