A Jefferson Parish judge on Thursday (Oct. 6) sentenced Jalen Harvey to a mandatory life sentence in prison for killing Joseph Vindel, a New Orleans man who was fatally shot while trying to sell his dirt bike through an online marketplace app.
Harvey 22, of Harvey, was convicted as charged of first-degree murder for killing Vindel on March 7, 2021. The 29-year-old real estate agent was sitting in the driver’s seat of his sports utility vehicle at the West Bank apartment complex where Harvey resided when he was shot five or six times.
Harvey then dragged the mortally wounded Vindel to the back seat of his SUV and then drove around the area for more than an hour. Harvey left Vindel’s body and his SUV in the 2300 block of Coliseum Street in New Orleans’ Garden District and returned to his West Bank apartment on Vindel’s dirt bike.
Following his weeklong trial, a Jefferson Parish jury on Sept. 1 unanimously convicted Harvey as charged of the first-degree murder, obstruction of justice and monetary instrument abuse.
The obstruction charge involves Harvey’s getting rid of evidence – Vindel’s body, SUV, dirt bike, wallet and cell phone. Harvey was convicted of monetary abuse because his use of fake movie prop cash.
On Thursday, after hearing impact testimony from Vindel’s parents, his girlfriend and his best friend, Judge E. Adrian Adams of the 24th Judicial District Court sentenced Harvey to life for the murder, 20 years for obstruction of justice and 10 years for monetary instrument abuse. Judge Adams ran the sentences concurrently.
The life sentence is to be serve without benefit of probation, parole or suspension of sentence.
Click here to read more about the trial.
Assistant District Attorneys Lindsay Truhe and Zach Grate prosecuted the case.