A Richmond County jury found Joseph Lashun Jordan guilty on all charges Monday in the robbery and slaying of an 81-year-old disabled man who was shot while watching television in his south Augusta home.
Jordan, 20, now faces spending the rest his days in prison. Superior Court Judge Michael Annis sentenced him to two consecutive life sentences for the charge of murder and for armed robbery, plus five years for weapons possession.
Assistant District Attorney John Markwalter said Jordan will never be eligible for parole.
Jordan was one of a group of four young men who conspired to rob and shoot Johnny Luckey the night of May 6, 2011, at his home on Hoods Lane. He and the others – Artavious Feazell, Tracy Lindsey and Rufus Khalid-Durand Van – were arrested a few days later.
Jordan claimed no knowledge of the incident when questioned by Richmond County sheriff’s investigators, but his story changed as he gave several statements over two days, until he eventually gave a full confession to Investigator Mark Dobbins.
That recorded confession was heard by jurors Friday.
On Monday, defense attorney Maureen Floyd argued that the confession was an attempt by Jordan to take the fall for his co-conspirators because he feared one of
them – Lindsey was still free and able to seek revenge if he cooperated with police.
“My client believed that Tracy Lindsey was still out and was still able to be the enforcer for Artavious Feazell,” Floyd said in closing arguments.
In his earlier statements and in court Monday, Jordan said it was Lindsey who had the 9 mm pistol and who aimed at Luckey through his kitchen window, firing a shot that left Luckey partially paralyzed and helpless on his couch.
Floyd implied that Lindsey and Van, who testified for the defense, had cut deals with the prosecution and were laying the blame on her client in return for lesser sentences.
“Why is it that my client is facing all this nightmare? He is obviously not the
shooter,” Floyd told jurors. “There was real incentive for them to tell the story that they told.”
In May, Lindsey, 17, received 25 years in prison in exchange for a plea to armed robbery and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.
Feazell, 19, accepted a sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole as part of his guilty plea to murder.
Van, 18, who police say drove the car, pleaded guilty March 29 for his role in the robbery and received 20 years in prison.
Floyd asked jurors to return a verdict similar to the plea deal made by Lindsey – guilty of armed robbery and possession of a firearm during the commission of a crime.
Markwalter countered that the co-defendants’ pleas had nothing to do with what the jurors were being asked to consider, which was whether the state had proved its case.
Markwalter noted that Jordan had admitted under oath to burglary and armed robbery and was therefore guilty of felony murder, even if jurors didn’t believe he pulled the trigger.
“Johnny Luckey has got one chance at justice. You are the 12 folks who can do it,” he said.
David Luckey said he was satisfied with the verdict and the sentence, but he
still has lingering doubts about what exactly happened the night his father was killed.
“I would feel a lot better if whoever did it would just admit to it,” he said. “Right now we still really don’t know who pulled the trigger.”