General Crime

Couple Sean Brown and Sonya Joseph Get Prison for Killing of King Gregory Carroll, Jr.

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An Antioch couple was sentenced in Contra Costa County Superior Court today for the fatal stabbing of a 26-year-old man two years ago. Sean Brown, 47, received a 20-year prison sentence and 43-year-old Sonya Joseph was sentenced to four years and eight months in prison for the slaying of King Gregory Carroll, Jr. on Oct. 19, 2012.

The pair stood together in a holding area for inmates in a Martinez courtroom this afternoon and watched through the bars as their sentences were read. Last month, Brown pleaded no contest to voluntary manslaughter and enhancements for use of a knife and for prior felonies California’s Three Strikes law and Joseph entered a no contest plea to assault with a deadly weapon. Prosecutor Simon O’Connell said Brown had been angry with Carroll, who went by Gregory or “G,” because the younger man had gotten the better of him during a fight several weeks before the killing.

Joseph later told police that Brown had been stewing about the fight for weeks, the prosecutor said. When Joseph saw Carroll sleeping on a chair outside of what O’Connell described as a “flophouse” on Manzanita Way the night of Oct. 19, 2012, she went to tell Brown, who was waiting in a car. O’Connell said that what happened next is unclear, but the defendants say a scuffle broke out between Joseph and Carroll.

The pair told investigators that Brown arrived to find Carroll attacking his girlfriend and rushed to her defense, leading him to stab Carroll several times with a large knife, according to prosecutors. “We’re limited in our knowledge of what took place because there were no percipient witnesses,” O’Connell said. Police found Carroll’s body at the same address several days later and were able to link Brown and Joseph to the slaying. O’Connell credited Antioch police detectives for the “gumshoe detective work” it took to track down the pair.

During their arrest, the couple was found in possession of the knife believed to have been used to kill Carroll, according to police. Several of the victim’s relatives attended today’s sentencing hearing. Carroll’s father, James Buie, told the court today that his son’s death has been a “terrible loss” for the family. “He kept us away from what he did outside on the street, but to me and his mother he was a very gentle, loving person,” he said outside the courtroom. Buie said that while he is glad his son’s killers are going to prison, he would’ve preferred they receive tougher sentences.

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