Family grieves over beaten burglar

By Crystal Price - bio | email

LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - The burglary suspect, beaten after he was found in a Lake Charles home, has died.

Twenty-year old Joseph K. Alexander was pronounced dead Tuesday afternoon after suffering injuries sustained in the beating.

It happened early Sunday morning when Joseph decided to stay at a home under renovation on 1118 McNabb Street in Lake Charles.

"He said he was going to sleep, not knowing the danger that his life was really in," says Vera Jones, Joseph's grandmother.

Vera says her grandson had no place to stay and felt too ashamed to tell his family.

That's when police say the home owner found Joseph, and beat him with a baseball bat.

Lake Charles investigators are continuing to investigate whether or not the homeowner went too far.

"The portion of this investigation we're looking closely at is how this beating took place," says Sgt. Mark Kraus of the Lake Charles Police Department.

Louisiana state law gives a home owner authority to use deadly force, if he or she feels their life is in danger.

"We are trying to establish at this point if the bat was brought in by the homeowner or by the intruder and some other things in our investigation to determine if that level of force used was absolutely necessary," says Kraus.

While the case remains unsolved, the family reflects on the life of Joseph K. Alexander.

"The family has learned that as a result of his death, he has saved six lives by contributing his organs to six local residents," says Tina Thompson, a close friend of the family. "He will live on through them."

While they remember Joseph, they also ask for justice.

"Joseph was a good, religious grandson and he was nonviolent," says Vera Jones. "He was just at the wrong place at the wrong time."

The coronary portion of the investigation is not yet complete.

The police are not releasing the name of the home owner at this time.

They are still investigating whether or not any charges will be made.

(Copyright 2009 KPLC-TV. All rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)