DA expected to call grand jury in slain deputy case

HOMER – Claiborne Parish District Attorney Danny Newell is expected to call a grand jury to decide if 35-year-old Jermaine Johnson will be tried for capital murder in the death of Sulyn Prince.

Johnson
Johnson

“The investigation is ongoing and we’ve got 60 days from the date of arrest to take it to a grand jury, which we intend to do,” he said. “It’s potentially a capital case, and the Louisiana Constitution requires that a capital case be initiated by grand jury indictment.”

Johnson was arrested Tuesday, Jan. 12, around 5 a.m. just hours after Prince’s remains were discovered in a shallow grave in a wooded area roughly a block from her home in Homer.

Prince, 68, was reported missing Monday, Jan. 11. Homer police went to her Bridges Street residence to conduct a welfare check, and discovered evidence consistent with foul play. Louisiana State Police and their forensics team were called in to process the scene and follow leads.

He is registered as a Tier 3 sex offender, convicted of simple rape in April 2015 and is currently housed at the Claiborne Parish Detention Center on $1 million bond.

Newell says he may present the case as a capital case with the options to charge Johnson with first-degree murder or the charge for which he was arrested.

“His first court appearance will be his arraignment, which will come after his indictment,” Newell said.

Public Defender Paul Garner is Johnson’s attorney.

Prince, a master control operator at Bayou Dorcheat Correctional Center, was laid to rest Saturday, Jan. 16.

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