Lawtell, St. Landry Parish, Louisiana

1,000 IXP


Case Details


According to Sheriff Bobby J. Guidroz “On September 16, 2020, deputies with the St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office responded to the 400 block of McClelland Street in the Lawtell area regarding an unresponsive male. The victim, 66-year-old Joseph Vallian, was found lying face down in the kitchen with his hands bound behind his back with a black leather belt. ”

Additionally, detectives were advised of a large safe in the home that contained an approximately $20,000 US currency, jewelry and important documents. The safe, along with the contents, was missing from the home at the time of the investigation. When family members were questioned, it was learned that associates of family members, which included Lester Ray Johnson, may have been aware of the safe and its contents inside the home.

On September 29, 2020, a bandana with what believed to be blood was found in a laundry basket inside the home. Upon DNA testing, it was learned that the blood on the bandana matched Lester Johnson. The findings of this plus additional key evidence, along with disproving his alibi, led to an arrest warrant being issued for Lester Ray Johnson, Jr.

On May 3, 2024, Lester Johnson was charged with first degree murder at the St. Landry Parish Jail. He has been incarcerated beginning April 19, 2024, for charges unrelated to this investigation.

“If not for the assistance from St. Landry Crime Stoppers with airing the footage in their Crime of the Week segments, the anonymous tips received as a result of those segments, and good old fashion boots on the ground investigation by law enforcement, this case might have never been solved,” Guidroz said.



Lester Ray Johnson, Jr., age 31

Black / Male

511 Perry Drive

Opelousas, LA., 70570


First Degree Murder



This is Sheriff Bobby J. Guidroz. All persons are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

File Number 337-948-TIPS (8477)

Posted By: St. Landry Crime Stoppers

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