A convicted sex offender has been charged with activist Sadie Roberts-Joseph’s murder.
According to WBRZ, Baton Rouge police arrested 38-year-old Ronn Bell and charged him with first degree murder after originally being booked as a fugitive Monday night after he failed to pay a fee related to his sex offender registration.
Police say Bell was renting space in a property Roberts-Joseph owned and believe he killed her because he owed more than $1,200 in back rent. It isn’t clear if Roberts-Joseph knew of Bell’s criminal background prior to her death.
Ronn Bell has been arrested and charged with the murder of #BatonRouge activist #SadieRobertsJoseph. Police say he was her tenant and owed her rent money. Authorities do not believe she was targeted because of her activism. pic.twitter.com/EydeXzohEg— Alex Perez (@perezreports) July 16, 2019
A report from 2007 via The Advocate revealed Bell pleaded guilty to sexual battery involving a 9-year-old girl. Rather than face a potential life sentence for aggravated rape, Bell reportedly agreed to a plea deal that put him in prison for seven years.
Sadie Roberts-Joseph, the founder of the Odell S. Williams Now & Then Museum of African-American History, was found dead in the trunk of her car on Friday afternoon (July 12). An autopsy revealed that strangulation was the cause of her death.
A vigil is planned for tonight at the museum Roberts-Joseph founded in 2001.
Photo: CBS News