A man agreed to sell his dirt bike through an online app for $2,800. But when he met with the prospective buyer, he was shot dead instead.
Now, the killer will head to prison for the rest of his life.
This month, a judge in Louisiana sentenced Jalen Harvey, 22, to life in prison for killing New Orleans real estate agent Joseph Vindel, according to the Times-Picayune. Harvey was previously convicted of first-degree murder.
On March 7, 2021, Vindel went to meet a potential buyer of a dirt bike, according to the Times-Picayune. Vindel had advertised the vehicle on OfferUp, an online marketplace app.
Harvey reached out to Vindel and the two agreed to a deal for $2,800, according to the report.
Vindel drove his SUV to a home in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, and brought the bike on a trailer, according to the Times-Picayune. Harvey told Vindel to go to the parking lot for the exchange.
However, the defendant planned to rob Vidnel by using fake money to pay for the bike, according to the report. During the exchange, Harvey shot the victim as he sat behind the wheel of the SUV.
The victim had at least six entry and exit wounds from gunfire.
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Prosecutors said Vindel had a gun, but a round was not chambered, and he never intended to fire it, according to WDSU. Harvey accused Vindel of pointing a gun at him, but investigators dismissed those claims.
Harvey then drove Vindel’s SUV with the victim inside for more than an hour before ditching the car, according to WDSU. Harvey said he doused the victim’s body with gasoline in an attempt to kill the DNA.
After ditching the SUV, Harvey drove the dirt bike back to his home, WDSU reported. The victim’s body was found the next day.
During a sentencing hearing, Harvey’s family spoke to the judge. His father showed a photograph of the victim when Vindel was young, the Times-Picayune reported. The dad added that Vindel will never have the chance to take a similar photo with his own children.
"I will never be OK with what happened to Joe," Vindel’s mother Patricia Muller said in court Thursday, according to the Times-Picayune report. "It is simply inconceivable. Too awful to even acknowledge.”
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