The attorney representing the teen boy charged with killing a Jockey Lot employee earlier this year claims his client’s safety has been endangered by older inmates at the Lafayette Parish Correctional Center.

Earl Joseph III was arrested in February for allegedly shooting Jockey Lot employee Michael Patin. According to police reports, Patin was shot in the back after allegedly confronting Joseph over an attempted vehicle theft in the parking lot.

Joseph, 15, was indicted Feb. 5 with first-degree murder, and has since been held on the fifth floor of the parish jail in a section with other teenaged inmates, some as old as 17.

According to this report from the Advocate, Joseph’s lawyer, Michael J. Hall, has filed a motion calling for his client’s transfer to the Lafayette Juvenile Detention Center.

“Joseph is, by far, the youngest inmate on his wing and one of the smallest,” says Hall. “The conflicts arose because the other inmates in Joseph’s wing were attacking him physically and trying to take advantage of him. The inmates are physically violent and have tried to make sexual advances with Joseph.”

According to Hall, his client also attempted suicide on Feb. 15, resulting in a brief stay at a mental health facility.

Hall’s motion also calls for a reduction of Joseph’s $1 million bail.

“Albeit this crime is a serious, unfortunate (event) that has occured, (Joseph) would not pose a danger to the community or to any person if he is released,” claims Hall.

According to Warden Rob Reardon, he’s received no reports of violence in the jail’s youth offender wing.

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