News Releases

November 8, 2019: Transient Sentenced to Life in Prison For 2016 Fire That Killed Five

Contact: 
Greg Risling, Assistant Chief
(213) 257-2000

A 25-year-old transient was sentenced today to life in prison without the possibility of parole for killing
five people after he set fire to a vacant building in the Westlake District three years ago, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Last November, Johnny Josue Sanchez (dob 7/14/94) was found guilty of five counts of murder and two counts of attempted murder. The special circumstance allegation of multiple murders and arson murder were found to be true.

Deputy District Attorneys Joy Roberts and Holly Harpham of the Arson and Explosives Section prosecuted the case.

On June 13, 2016, a blaze erupted in a large vacant commercial building at 2411 W. Eighth St. near MacArthur Park. Sanchez set a fire after getting into a dispute with other transients at the site, killing Jerry Dean Clemons, Mary Ann Davis, DeAndre Mitchell, Joseph Proenneke and Tierra Stansberry.

Case BA447545 was investigated by the Los Angeles Police Department’s Robbery-Homicide Division.