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Kenner man convicted of murder in deadly 2010 armed robbery
A Kenner man faces spending the rest of his life in prison for shooting two people during an armed robbery attempt, killing one of them and injuring the other.
Joseph Humbles, 21 of 2604 Tupleo St. was convicted Saturday night in a Jefferson Parish courtroom of second-degree murder, attempted second-degree murder and attempted armed robbery, in connection with the Oct. 28, 2010, crime in Kenner.
Humbles, who was 18 years old and worked at a fried-chicken restaurant at the time, was one of two men who killed Walter D. Bailey, 49, also of Kenner, and shot Bailey's friend, who then was a 57-year-old man.
The victims were sitting in a pickup truck, parked in front of an apartment building in the 900 block of Vouray Drive, when Humbles and an accomplice accosted them, according to the Kenner Police Department.
Humbles and the other man, who was never identified, were both armed and ordered the victims to "give it up," police said.
Bailey, who was in the driver's seat, and his friend got out of the truck. The friend gave the robbers $10, and both victims then ran away, police said. The gunmen opened fire. Bailey was shot several times and died. His friend was shot once, police said.
Using witnesses and the cameras in Kenner's license-plate-recognition system, detectives determined that the gunmen fled in a blue 1990 Toyota Camry. The detectives linked the car to Humbles and later matched his fingerprints to one found the passenger door of Bailey's truck, police said. The surviving victim also identified Humbles as one of the assailants.
Kenner police said at the time that it was the first time the license-place-recognition system was used to solve a murder.
Humbles, who testified Friday, said he was misidentified, said his attorney, Jim Williams, who worked on the case with Roger Jordan.
Assistant District Attorneys Rachel Luck Africk and Myles Ranier prosecuted Humbles.
The jury deliberated almost three hours before returning with its verdicts just before 8 p.m. on Saturday. Jurors convicted Humbles as charged of second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder, but refused to convict him of armed robbery. The jury instead convict him of attempted armed robbery, a lesser offense.
Judge Ross LaDart of the 24th Judicial District Court, who presided over the case, is scheduled to sentence Humbles on May 5.
Life in prison is the mandatory punishment for second-degree murder. Humbles faces up to 50 years in prison for the attempted-murder charge, and up to 44 1/2 years for attempted armed robbery.
Humbles had been held in the parish jail since his arrest days after the crime, in lieu of a $1.5 million bond.
Sgt. Brian McGregor of the Kenner Police Department said Sunday that detectives are still investigating the case in an attempt to find Humbles' accomplice.
Kenner Police Chief Steve Caraway urges anyone with information concerning this incident to call Detective Charlotte Synigal at 504.712.2255, or Crimestoppers at 504.822.1111.