Report: Sadie Roberts-Joseph Murdered Over Back Rent


A convicted sex offender has been charged with activist Sadie Roberts-Joseph’s murder.

According to WBRZ, Baton Rouge police arrested 38-year-old Ronn Bell and charged him with first degree murder after originally being booked as a fugitive Monday night after he failed to pay a fee related to his sex offender registration.

Police say Bell was renting space in a property Roberts-Joseph owned and believe he killed her because he owed more than $1,200 in back rent. It isn’t clear if Roberts-Joseph knew of Bell’s criminal background prior to her death.

A report from 2007 via The Advocate revealed Bell pleaded guilty to sexual battery involving a 9-year-old girl. Rather than face a potential life sentence for aggravated rape, Bell reportedly agreed to a plea deal that put him in prison for seven years.

Sadie Roberts-Joseph, the founder of the Odell S. Williams Now & Then Museum of African-American History, was found dead in the trunk of her car on Friday afternoon (July 12). An autopsy revealed that strangulation was the cause of her death.

A vigil is planned for tonight at the museum Roberts-Joseph founded in 2001.