Man sentenced to life in prison for beating death of roommate

Man sentenced to life in prison for beating death of roommate

HARRISON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - The man accused of beating his roommate to death in February of 2013 pleaded guilty to first-degree murder the same day his second trial was set to begin. Johnny Owens III was sentenced to life in prison Tuesday.

Owens, 44, admitted to beating 50-year-old Larry Johnson to death inside their Gulfport home. Witnesses said Owens stomped Johnson's head and said he wanted to kill him.

"An autopsy was performed on the victim and revealed multiple blunt force injuries to the victim's head. The autopsy also revealed massive hemorrhaging in the victim's brain, which contributed to his death" said Assistant District Attorney Robert McCormick.

Johnson died at Garden Park Hospital the day after the assault.

Judge Lisa Dodson declared a mistrial in Owens' first trial earlier this year after the jury failed to reach a unanimous verdict.

"We are pleased to see justice served for Larry Johnson in this senseless killing. The Sheriff's department presented a strong investigation which led to today's conviction," said District Attorney Joel Smith.

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