Man convicted of murdering New Orleans realtor while selling dirt bike via online app | Crime/Police

A Jefferson Parish jury deliberated just 45 minutes before finding Jalen Harvey, the man accused of killing a New Orleans realtor while posing as a potential motorcycle buyer whose victim announced online, guilty of first-degree murder Thursday night, the Jefferson Parish district attorney’s office said.

Harvey, 22, was also convicted of obstructing justice and abusing monetary instruments in connection with the shooting death of 29-year-old Joseph Vindel.

Vindel was shot on March 7, 2021 after being lured to Harvey’s Manhattan Boulevard apartment complex in the community of Harvey.

Joseph Vindel, 29, is shown here in a photo his girlfriend shared on Facebook on Monday, March 8. Jefferson Parish sheriff’s deputies say Vindel was shot and killed while trying to sell a dirt bike on Sunday.

through facebook

Harvey contacted Vindel after Vindel advertised the sale of his red Honda dirt bike using the online marketplace application OfferUp, Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office Detective Kurt Zeagler said during from an earlier hearing in the case.

Vindel left his Uptown home around 10 a.m., telling his girlfriend he would be back shortly, according to Zeagler. He had a brief text exchange with his dad right after he left the house. After that, Vindel was never heard from again, Zeagler said.

Prosecutors accused Harvey of conspiring to rob Vindel by paying for the bike with fake money. But the transaction took a deadly turn when Harvey shot Vindel multiple times while the Vindel was sitting inside his vehicle.

Vindel had a gun, but the weapon did not have a chambered cartridge and was not fired, according to the district attorney’s office. And a gunshot wound to Vindel’s hand contradicted Harvey’s claim that Vindel first pointed a gun at him, authorities said.

Jalen Harvey, 20, has been charged with first degree murder and armed robbery in the death of Joseph Vindel, 29.

Photo by JPSO

Vindel’s heart was still pounding when authorities said Harvey dragged his body into the backseat of Vindel’s SUV. Harvey then rode in the SUV, to which was hitched a trailer carrying the dirt bike, for more than an hour, the district attorney’s office said.

Harvey abandoned the vehicle, which still contained Vindel’s body, in the 2300 block of Coliseum Street in New Orleans, then drove the dirt bike back to his apartment on the West Bank, authorities said. .

Investigators from the Sheriff’s Office and the New Orleans Police Department tracked the phone number used to contact Vindel to Harvey’s apartment complex. There, deputies spotted Vindel’s dirt bike on Harvey’s back patio.

During the trial, Harvey testified that he doused Vindel’s body with gasoline in an attempt to destroy any DNA evidence, the district attorney’s office said.

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The St. Germaine apartments are seen where Jefferson Parish Sheriff Joseph Lopinto announced that 20-year-old Jalen Harvey has been arrested and will face one count of first-degree murder in the shooting death of Joseph Vindel, 29, who was killed while trying to sell a dirt bike in Harvey, Louisiana Monday, March 8, 2021. (Photo by Max Becherer,, The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Lawyer)


The obstruction charge stems from Harvey’s efforts to dispose of evidence, including driving Vindel’s body to the Garden District. Vindel’s wallet and cell phone were never found.

The monetary instrument misuse charge involves Harvey’s use of movie props money in the online sales transaction. Detectives also found more than 175 counterfeit $100 bills in his apartment.

Secure areas for internet sales

Vindel’s murder led the Sheriff’s Office and the NOPD to create “safe trading areas” for Internet sales transactions.

But Morgan Tyrone, 24, of Pascagoula, was fatally shot on April 10 in Terrytown after sheriff’s office investigators said Daniel Tenner, 20, staged an armed robbery under the guise of selling an iPhone on the Facebook market.

Tenner was arrested and convicted of first degree murder and two counts of attempted first degree murder. His case has not yet been judged.

Harvey will be sentenced by Judge E. Adrian Adams of the 24th Judicial District Court on October 6. He faces a mandatory life sentence.

Staff writer Jessica Williams contributed to this story.

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