LIVINGSTON PARISH, LA (WAFB) - A Denham Springs man has been found guilty in the 2013 murder of Brandon Parnell.
District Attorney Scott Perrilloux says 26-year-old Joshua Mitchell was found guilty of second degree murder and obstruction of justice on Friday, October 23.
Parnell was reported missing by his mother and girlfriend on February 27, 2013 after he left their hotel room at the Days Inn at 9 p.m. and never returned.
Parnell's girlfriend told police that he told her he was using her 2008 white Chevrolet van to buy minutes for his cell phone at the Circle K on Rushing Road. When she did not hear from him, she began to call his friends.
When she got in contact with one of Parnell's friends, she learned that Parnell called him from the Laguna Beach Sports Bar on Florida Boulevard saying that he would pick him up from a gas station but he never showed up.
Detectives with the Livingston Parish Sheriff's Office reviewed surveillance video from the bar the night Parnell went missing and spotted him pulling up in the van at 9:10 p.m. with another man who was later identified as Mitchell. Video showed both men leave the bar together in the van about an hour later.
According to detectives, they were told by a friend of Mitchell that he admitted to shooting Parnell, taking the van and dumping Parnell's body in the bayou.
Mitchell's friend also told detectives that he showed her the blood under the floor mat. Mitchell then cleaned the van with bleach and took items off of the van and out of the van.
On March 6, 2013, detectives learned that the body of a white male, later identified as Parnell, was found in St. James Parish. Parnell had a single gunshot wound to the head.
The investigation led to the arrest of Mitchell for second degree murder, theft of a motor vehicle and obstruction of justice.
Second degree murder carries an automatic sentence of life in prison without the possibility of probation, parole or suspension of sentence.
Mitchell is scheduled to be sentenced on November 2.