A 20-year-old New Orleans woman admitted Tuesday (June 2) she set her ex-boyfriend up to be shot in what appeared to be a feud over Instagram.
Earlneishka Johnson accepted a plea offer, admitting to a charge of aggravated battery and taking a 3-year prison sentence in exchange for her testimony against the accused shooter, Dorrell T. Moten, 20, of Monroe.
As part of her plea deal, she gave sworn testimony in which she said she saw Moten shoot the 20-year-old victim in the 13000 block of Sevres Street. It happened just after midnight on Jan. 13, 2014. About a half hour earlier, the victim said Johnson called him, “asking about hanging out,” according to the New Orleans police arrest report.
Johnson picked the victim up at his home off Read Boulevard and drove him to the residential street off Michoud Boulevard. There, Johnson got out of the car, returned and told the victim that her uncle wanted to know who was with her, the victim later told police.
He said he got out of the car and lit a cigarette when two people approached him. One of them asked him for a cigarette when he said Moten asked, “You remember me? What’s up with all that?”
The victim replied, “All what?” Moten responded, “With all that Instagram bucking.”
He said Moten then pulled out a gun and started shooting him before running off with his cellular phone. The victim suffered bullet wounds to his chest, a leg and a wrist and ran to a residence, where he collapsed. The resident called 911.
At the hospital, the victim identified Johnson and Moten, according to the arrest report, which provides no detail on what was posted on Instagram, a social networking application. Johnson was arrested the following day in the 1200 block of L.B. Landry in Algiers.
An Orleans Parish grand jury charged Johnson the following month with being a principal to attempted first-degree murder. Moten was charged with attempted first-degree murder.
Both defendants were set for trial Tuesday, when Assistant District Attorney Robert Ferrier and her attorney Ralph Bickham announced the plea agreement. As part of it, she gave the testimony, in which she said she saw Moten shoot her ex-boyfriend.
Criminal District Court Judge Arthur Hunter handed down the 3-year sentence and gave Johnson credit for the more than a year she’s been incarcerated awaiting her trial. He also agreed to recommend to the state Department of Corrections that she receive opportunity to get a high school diploma while she’s imprisoned.
Hunter hesitantly agreed to postpone Moten’s trial to July. Prosecutors are seeking to enhance any potential punishment Moten might receive, should he be convicted, because he used a firearm.
Moten’s attorney Juan Bernal, defending the case with Adam Beckman, declined to comment on Johnson’s plead deal.