Jury sentences Tyler man to 75 years in death of ex-girlfriend

East Texas News at 6.
Published: Mar. 24, 2023 at 11:57 AM CDT|Updated: Mar. 24, 2023 at 6:45 PM CDT
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LONGVIEW, Texas (KLTV) - A jury has found a Tyler man accused of influencing a friend to stab a woman to death guilty of murder and sentenced him to 75 years.

That friend, Calvin Marcelus Anderson, of Henderson, pleaded guilty to murder in January and will now be sentenced since a verdict is reached in the Johnson trial.

The jury handed down the verdict around 12:15 pm. Friday. The sentencing came around 5:45 p.m.

Closing arguments began Friday after the defense offered no evidence.

“You’re not guilty, and you know it,” the defense attorney, Brandt Thorson, said in closing arguments. “And now you’re here, and you’re trusting the system. And now you all, the jury, are the end of the line for this case. You’re the ones to have the last say in what happens, the last say in this system, and we’re asking you to say ‘not guilty.’”

Anderson stabbed Lashekia Shardae Kenney, 35, of Kilgore. Johnson is accused of convincing Anderson to because Johnson was upset over his relationship with Kenney.

“He truly thinks he is smarter than everyone else,” the prosecutor, Tanya Reed, said in closing arguments. “He thinks he’s smarter than Kilgore police department, and he absolutely thought he was smarter than Calvin.”

The attorneys also describe, in differing ways, the drive Kendall Johnson and Calvin Anderson took, following Lashekia Kenney from T Blanco’s Restaurant to where she was killed.

“He picks Calvin up. We follow her to T Blanco’s. We stalk her like prey. We follow her home. I let him out. I pull up a little bit. Well, I don’t have the manhood to do it or watch it,” Reed said.

“You call your friend again. Same thing you’ve done before, you’re talking about your girlfriend. You drive by her house. He says he wants to get out and look around. She pulls up. He goes up and violently stabs her to death. He runs back to the car. He’s in the car with a knife. He stabbed her to death. What do you do?” Thorson said.

“I told you in opening statements that by the end of the day you would find him guilty, and it was just as if he was the one holding that knife,” Reed said. “He did this, there is no doubt. And, we ask you to please go back there and find him guilty.”

After the trial ended, Kenney’s cousins gave his thoughts on the outcome. “There was no doubt in my mind, my family’s minds, or friends,” he said about the guilty verdict. “Most of the tears from friends and family were tears of joy, so we could get justice for Shekia,” said Antonio Kelly.

“It’s been a very, very, very tough time coming up to today but definitely just standing here very anxious and waiting. I guess the verdict was very, like I said, anxious yet such a relief just to hear them to say guilty,” Kamishia Woodard said.

KLTV's Jamey Boyum talks with a cousin of murder victim Lashekia Kelly about the guilty verdict for Kendall Johnson.