BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — A friend of Janice David remembers her while hoping the tragedy is an eye-opener for other women in similar situations.

She describes her long-time friend as caring, loving to her nieces, and a true country girl.

Baton Rouge Police say Janice David, 34, was stabbed multiple times and found dead on S. Sherwood Forest Boulevard on Monday night.

Earl Lee Johnson Jr. Courtesy of EBRSO

Janice’s death was live-streamed on social media for about 15 minutes until someone finally reported it to Facebook and then reported to State Police.

“I couldn’t finish watching it, but I just don’t know how anybody could do that,” said a friend of Janice David.

Earl Lee Johnson Jr. is behind bars facing first-degree murder and being held with no bond.

“He choked her. He beat her. And he stabbed her. And then from there, he tried to set the car on fire,” said Sgt. L’Jean McKneely from the Baton Rouge Police Department.

“She just wanted somebody to love her the way she loved and she never found that,” said Janice’s friend. “She would love to help anybody if she could.”

Police say it is apparent that David and Johnson were in a relationship. The two were allegedly on a three-to-four-day drug binge.

“I had a chance to look at the video. Was I prepared for that? I have been doing this for a long time and no, I wasn’t,” said Priscila Ray, a staff attorney at IRIS Domestic Violence Center.

Ray says domestic violence cases are becoming more brutal. The shelter has now maxed out capacity due to an increase in cases.

It’s unclear if Johnson had a history of drug abuse. But Ray says around 50 to 70 percent of victims at the center have abusers who deal with a drug or alcohol problem.

“I believe that for victims that is an excuse. An excuse to, you know, excuse the behavior. It’s ‘when he’s not drinking or when he’s not on drugs he’s fine.’ You cannot predict what someone is going to do when they are on drugs,” said Ray.

Ray says if you are in a similar situation and not ready to leave, you should have a safety plan. She provided the following tips:

  • Tell a friend or someone about your situation
  • Have code words for your children to know when you are in trouble
  • Have a bag packed in case of emergency

Janice’s friend says she hopes this tragedy helps other women in similar situations.

“Know your worth. Know your worth more than this,” she said. “I love you Janice and I will never forget you.”

The Domestic Violence 24-hour Crisis Line can be reached at 225-389-3001 or 1-800-541-9706. For domestic violence and drug abuse resources, click here.