READING, Pa. | In August of 2020, Joewel Keita was arrested by Reading police for the murder of a local man; now, Keita's younger brother has been arrested, and accused of witness intimidation at his trial.
Jakuon Keita, 21, younger brother of murder suspect Joewel Keita, was arrested on July 20, 2021 for reportedly threatening witnesses while they were testifying on the stand at his brother's trial.
Officers at the courthouse report that at the pre-trial hearing, which was held for first degree murder charges against Joewel Keita and alleged accomplice Devon Starr, Keita's family members began to enter the courtroom, including the defendant.
According to one officer's recollection, he reports that he saw several officers of the courtroom escorting the young Keita outside, who was reportedly acting agitated, and angry. Witnesses say police were attempting to escort Keita to the elevators to leave, however he was resisting the officers and yelling loud obscenities at them.
In later reports it was discovered that Jakuon Keita had been removed from the courtroom by Captain Lehman of the Sheriff's department. In his report, the Captain stated that Keita has been whispering to his older brother, who was sat five rows ahead of him.
When told he needed to stay quiet, Jakuon Keita loudly cursed at the Captain.
Lehman proceeded to ask Keita to exit the courtroom, according to reports. This is when police say Keita stood up, pointed at the witness who was actively testifying against the defendants, and screamed more obscenities at them.
Witnesses say at one point, Keita pointed to the witness and yelled, "I'll see you outside!" This comment left the witness, who was recalling events surrounding the murder, visibly shaken and upset, according to reports.
Keita was arrested, charged with intimidating witnesses. He has been released on $5,000 unsecured bail, police say, with a preliminary hearing for him set on July 30, 2021.