NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A 37-year-old man accused of second-degree murder in connection to a gruesome 2008 double murder pleaded guilty to lesser charges Wednesday (April 24), according to the District Attorney’s office.
As part of a plea deal, Timothy Webb’s charges were reduced to two counts of obstruction of justice, under the condition that he testify in the upcoming trial of his co-defendant, Chuckwudi Ofomata. Both men are accused in the April 2008 murder of Jarnell Sanders, 22, and Candice Gillard, 24, whose bodies were found burned and dismembered in a charred SUV in New Orleans East.
According to the DA’s office, investigators believe Ofomata fatally shot the couple during an argument at Webb’s 7th Ward auto repair shop -- Tim’s Auto. Police said the shop was a front for Webb’s “chop shop” -- an illegal business that sells parts from stolen vehicles.
The victims were last seen at the shop on April 21, 2008, the DA said, and their remains were found 10 days later.
Webb is facing a recommended sentence of 20 years in state prison, according to a news the DA. Orleans Criminal District Judge Camille Buras accepted Webb’s plea Wednesday, but scheduled his sentencing for July 30 to ensure he carries out his agreement to testify in Ofomata’s trial.
Ofomata is set to go to trial July 29. He is currently in custody and facing charges in an unrelated bank robbery case, according to the DA’s office.
Investigators allege Ofomata shot and killed Hector Trochez, an armored truck driver, in December 2013 while robbing a Chase bank on Carrollton Avenue. Federal prosecutors are planning on seeking the death penalty.