COVINGTON—A 22-year-old Slidell man was sentenced to life in prison without the benefit of parole Monday (April 13) for shooting a man to death while trying to rob him of marijuana. The defendant, Felix Adams Jr., had been found guilty on Feb. 12 of second-degree murder, armed robbery, and obstruction of justice, in the 2013 slaying of 22-year-old Leighton Powe, Jr.
Adams also was sentenced to 20 years of hard labor in prison on the obstruction of justice charge, which will run concurrently with the life sentence. Judge Allison H. Penzato issued the sentence moments after denying a request by Adams’ attorney for a deviation of the terms of the automatic life sentence that comes with a second-degree murder conviction. The defense had asked that the sentence allow for Adams to be considered for parole after 13 years.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Julie Knight and Harold Bartholomew. Before the sentencing, Powe’s father, Leighton Powe, Sr., of Slidell, gave a statement about the impact of his son’s death.
“There’s no words that can describe how we feel because in my house, there’s been nothing but tears and nothing but unhappiness since this day,” Powe said, referring to Sept. 7, 2013, the day his son was killed.
Powe’s voice broke as he talked about life for him, his wife, and daughter, without the son who lived with him and woke him up every day at 4 a.m. for work. “My son is in prison in a marble wall,” he said, pleading for the life sentence. “I have to go to a marble wall to see my son.”
As Powe spoke, his wife, Lana, wept silently from her seat behind him. Powe said he could not accept the defense’s contention that Adams’ decision to load just one bullet in the gun showed his immaturity and that because of his age at the time of the crime, his character had not yet been fully formed. “We’re talking about a lot of violence,” Powe said. “Whether there was one bullet or five, you had to load that gun to shoot it…He loaded that gun for one reason and one reason only.”
Adams was part of a plan that involved three other men—Trenton Johnson, then 19, Bobby Isidore, then 20, and KiShion Griffin, then 17—who lured Powe Jr. behind a store on Robert Boulevard in Slidell for a purported marijuana sale. Instead, when Powe Jr. got into Johnson’s truck, the men tried to rob him, and Adams shot him point-blank in the head.
The men then drove to Javery Road, just beyond the Slidell City limits, and dumped Powe Jr.’s body in a ditch, where it was found later the same day. Adams set the truck on fire, and Johnson reported it as stolen. Their story soon fell apart as the Slidell Police Department began investigating and arrested Adams the next day. Within a week, Slidell police had nabbed all of the men.
Johnson, the owner of the truck and the driver on the night of the crime, pleaded guilty last December to manslaughter and received a 25-year sentence in exchange for testifying against the others. Bobby Isidore and KiShion Griffin also face second-degree murder and armed robbery charges.
Isidore’s pre-trial date is set for May 27, and his trial is set for the week of June 1. Griffin’s pre-trial hearing is set for June 5, and his trial for July 1. Another man, Darion Causey, who was involved in the cover-up, is charged with obstruction of justice and accessory after the fact. Causey’s pre-trial hearing is scheduled for June 5, and his trial for July 1.