LAFAYETTE — A Lafayette man charged in the shooting death of a college student from New Iberia last year has been released after prosecutors determined he was not the shooter.
Kentrell Morrison, 19, was being held in the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center on one count of first-degree murder in the July 1 shooting death of Frederick Joseph in a Taco Bell restaurant parking lot at 2406 West Congress St. Morrison also was awaiting trial on one count of attempted first-degree murder in the parking lot shooting.
Lafayette Parish District Attorney Mike Harson in an emailed statement said investigators determined Morrison was not the Taco Bell shooter “and had no active involvement prior to the shooting incident.”
According to court documents, the charges against Morrison were lowered to obstruction of justice. He received a suspended sentence of seven years in prison and will serve four years of supervised probation, court papers show.
Documents also show Morrison has agreed to testify in court about the shooting. By late Wednesday, neither Lafayette police nor the District Attorney’s Office had announced another arrest and suspect in the case.
Lafayette police arrested Morrison two days after the shooting, which happened at 2:30 a.m. on July 1. Police said at the time they believed Morrison got into the rear seat in a green Pontiac Bonneville after he shot Joseph and another victim, who was wounded and was not publicly identified.
Police have said there were two people in the Pontiac’s front seat whom they did not arrest or identify at the time.
According to an arrest affidavit, one of the front-seat occupants of the car told police Morrison “jumped into the rear seat of their vehicle after the shooting, appeared nervous, and told them to quickly leave the scene.”
Joseph was a 2011 graduate of Westgate High School in New Iberia who played basketball on an athletic scholarship at North Dakota State College of Science, a two-year school.
He was back in Louisiana on summer break at the time of the shooting.