Louisiana police charge man in killing of civil rights activist

Sadie Roberts-Joseph

Sadie Roberts-Joseph

He was in jail for failing to register as a sex offender when he was charged Tuesday, the outlet said. He was initially booked as a fugitive Monday night after he failed to pay a fee related to his sex offender registration.

Bell was one of Roberts-Joseph's tenants and was behind on about $1,200 in rent, Paul said.

Baton Rouge detectives arrested Ron Jermaine Bell in the killing of Sadie Roberts-Joseph, 75, whose body was found stuffed in the trunk of her auto on Friday afternoon, Police Chief Murphy Paul told a news conference. It's unclear if Roberts-Joseph was ever aware of Bell's criminal background.

Bell was previously convicted for sexual assault against an 8-year-old girl, said East Baton Rouge District Attorney Hillar C. Moore III, adding that Bell pleaded guilty in 2007 to sexual battery and received a seven year sentence, which was completely served.

The slaying of Roberts-Joseph, who was well known in Baton Rouge, came as a complete shock for her family and the community.

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Joseph was the founder of the non-profit, Odell S. Williams Now & Then Museum of African American History. When our investigation involves an innocent victim, such as Ms. Sadie Joseph, it is particularly tragic.

Sadie Roberts-Joseph, the iconic founder of Baton Rouge's African American History Museum died of suffocation, in what has been determined to be a homicide, the city coroner's office confirmed on Monday. Her body found in the trunk of a auto on Friday afternoon, about three miles from her home.

Bell has allegedly admitted to being in the area when the vehicle was left there, and his DNA was found on her remains, WAFB reported.

East Baton Rouge Parish Mayor-President called this loss a tragedy for the community. "Because of what she gave to so many here". Her daughter and son were also there thanking the community for their support. "I've known and loved Ms. Sadie for years and admired and respected her dedication to education and our community". Police are still searching for tips in her case.

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