12 February 2023 :
February 10, 2023 - This morning, Division C Judge J. Sterling Snowdy formally sentenced Kyle Joekel to death.
On February 9, 2020 a Rapides Parish jury decided Joekel would be sentenced to death for the August 2012 murders of St. John the Baptist Parish deputies Jeremy Triche, 28, and Brandon Nielsen, 34.
Prosecutors said Joekel, now 38, White, was a member of the “sovereign citizens” movement, an anti-government group that ambushed the deputies in a trailer park. Jurors were selected from Rapides Parish because the publicity in St. John Parish about the highly emotional case made it impossible to select a jury from the parish.
Judge Snowdy said the 3-year span between Joekel’s conviction and this morning’s sentencing was a result of delays from the COVID-19 pandemic and “a very extensive motion for a new trial.”