Johnson guilty of capital murder in Gulfport teen's death - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Johnson guilty of capital murder in Gulfport teen's death

Sellers Johnson (Photo source: Harrison County Jail Docket) Sellers Johnson (Photo source: Harrison County Jail Docket)
Damon Demond Clark (Photo source: District Attorney's Office) Damon Demond Clark (Photo source: District Attorney's Office)
Deaundre Deshad Holmes (Photo source: District Attorney's Office) Deaundre Deshad Holmes (Photo source: District Attorney's Office)
Earnest Pope (Photo source: District Attorney's Office) Earnest Pope (Photo source: District Attorney's Office)
Joshua Xavier Cuellar, 15, was found shot in the head and chest on Lowes Avenue, about a mile from where he lived. (Photo source: Cuellar Family) Joshua Xavier Cuellar, 15, was found shot in the head and chest on Lowes Avenue, about a mile from where he lived. (Photo source: Cuellar Family)
GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) -

Sellers Johnson could face life in prison after pleading guilty to capital murder Monday afternoon. Johnson, along with three other Gulfport teens, have all admitted having a role in the 2013 murder of 15-year-old Joshua Xavier Cuellar. The teen was found shot in the head and chest on Lowes Avenue, about a mile from where he lived. 

At Monday's plea hearing, Johnson told the Court on the day of Cuellar's death, the victim picked up all four defendants in his truck to give them a ride to Lowe’s. Johnson testified that when the teens were getting out of the back of the truck, Damon Clark pulled a gun on Joshua Cuellar in an attempt to rob him. 

"Johnson stated that Cuellar began fighting with Clark and the gun was dropped by Clark. Johnson stated he picked up the firearm and eventually fired six shots at Cuellar," said ADA Mitch Owen. 

During today’s hearing, ADA Owen reviewed the State’s evidence for the Court and pointed out that it would show Cuellar was shot seven times on the night in question. Johnson admitted that he fired all the shots and was the last to flee from the scene. During Johnson’s testimony, he further admitted he was in the back of the truck prior to the shooting when discussions of robbing Joshua Cuellar took place

Earlier this month, Damon Clark, 17, pleaded guilty to second degree murder, and Deaundre Deshad Holmes, 17, pleaded guilty to accessory after the fact to capital murder. Another co-defendant in the case, Earnest Pope, pleaded guilty to accessory after the fact to capital murder in August. 

District Attorney Joel Smith said sentencing for all those involved would be deferred pending the outcome of Johnson's capital murder trial. That was set to begin Monday when Johnson decided to forgo a trial enter a guilty plea. 

Johnson will return to court on November 5 for a motion hearing which will determine whether his sentencing hearing must be decided by the judge or a jury. 

Holmes and Pope, who were 15-years-old at the time of the shooting, face up to 20 years in prison for their roles in the murder. Clark, who was also 15, faces a sentence of 20 to 40 years.

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