After a man allegedly confessed to police that he had murdered two step-siblings, he was freed on bond, only to receive “street justice” before making it to court to answer for his crimes. The father of the victims was arrested, but the community has shown support for the alleged actions of the grieving dad.
Most people can’t imagine the pain felt by parents who lose a child to a senseless crime. Sadly, losing two children, who were allegedly gunned down by the same man, is something New Orleans father Bokio Johnson had to endure when his son and step-daughter were murdered. New Orleans police said 21-year-old Hollis Carter confessed to killing Caleb Johnson, 18, and his step-sister Breyiana Brown, 25, and wounding a third person.
“Bokio Johnson took it hard when his two eldest children, Breyiana Brown and Caleb Johnson, were slain,” NOLA News reported. For six months, “he was in a state of just not moving,” Courtney Brown, the mother of victim Breyiana Brown recalled, adding, “I used to tell him, ‘Please go back to work.” Johnson, who worked as an electrician, considered it a further insult when Hollis Carter, the man indicted for killing the siblings, left the Orleans Parish jail a month later on a $375,000 bond, she said.
“[Bokio] felt like Hollis Carter should have never been out on two bodies and an attempted murder,” Brown explained. “He was depressed. He knew they was playing games.” The grieving father was looking forward to his son’s future, as the teen was weeks away from graduating from Edna Karr High School, where he had been a very popular student. Even though the 18-year-old murder victim was accepted into several universities, it was his dream to enlist in the U.S. Navy.
When the Lousiana dad heard that the man who confessed to his children’s murder had been freed on bond, he allegedly took matters into his own hands. According to the New Orleans Police Department, the confessed gunman of the siblings, Hollis Carter, was heading to the courthouse when a CCTV video shows a black vehicle matching Bokio Johnson’s pulling alongside a sedan. The driver then opened fire on the sedan being driven by Carter and his mother. Carter was later pronounced dead of a gunshot wound to the head.
Following Carter’s death, Bokio Johnson was charged with second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder, but his attorney Michael Kennedy denied it was a matter of “vigilante justice,” alluding to the problems with the New Orleans justice system.
“Some are questioning why 21-year-old Hollis Carter, the man accused of killing Caleb and his 25-year-old sister, was out on bond in the first place – $300,000 for two alleged murders,” KLSA’s award-winning journalist Doug Warner said in a post on Facebook. Members of the community agreed with the journalist.
“So the daddy killed the man that killed his son and daughter? Justified! I’d done the same thing! The man that the daddy shot, was out on bond for killing 2 people and his bond was only 300K? Ridiculous!” Meg Prince wrote.
“The father is a hero. If I was on the jury he will face I would let him walk!” Eric Walton stated.
“That DA is questionable,” Bree Singleton posted. “There are a lot of people being let out of jail with light bonds or charges dropped all over N.O. I have become afraid of going into New Orleans when I go home to see my family.”
Left to grieve the loss of her beloved son, DeCarlas O’Neal Johnson shared stories about the young man. Caleb had just turned 18 when he was slain, and in a video, he was seen blowing out his birthday cake candles. She said he would not make a wish, instead, he would say a prayer.
“Caleb just started with these long drawn out prayers and my husband looked at me and said ‘you taught him how to pray like that?’ And I said ‘no I didn’t.’ It was just in him,” O’Neal Johnson said. “I know Caleb. He’s with God. He’s with God and I do have peace with that.”
Caleb’s mom also spoke about his future plans to join the Navy. “I said ‘wow, I’m going to be a military mom,’ something I never thought I’d be because you’re always scared ‘oh, you’ll go to the military, something could happen to your son.’ I said, ‘well New Orleans is like the equivalent to being on a battleground,'” O’Neal Johnson recalled.
Sadly, New Orleans is also well known for its corruption and cronyism in its justice system. Judges reducing bonds for suspects charged with murder is part of the overall problem, and that may have been the tipping point for the grieving New Orleans dad accused of delivering street justice against his son and step-daughter’s alleged killer.