According to Mississippi Second Circuit District Attorney Joel Smith, Joshua Anthony Peterman, age 31, of Gulfport, was found guilty by a jury of First Degree Murder in the Harrison County Courthouse in Gulfport Friday morning. Circuit Judge Roger Clark was presiding over Peterman’s trial.
The death of Tena Broadus came to the attention of the Gulfport Police Department in September of 2015 after receiving a missing person report from Broadus’s family. Authorities began an investigation into Broadus’s whereabouts that led to the discovery of her remains in October of the same year. Her body was found in a wooded area near O’Neal Road and appeared to have been burned.
Multiple witnesses testified that on the day of the murder, Tena was at Joshua Peterman’s residence. Witnesses testified Peterman and Broadus got into a disagreement and a struggle ensued. “During the struggle, Broadus was taken out back and placed in a building behind the residence where she was restrained. The victim was continuously assaulted by the defendants,” said Assistant District Attorney Mitch Owen who prosecuted the case. Additionally, these witnessesobserved Broadus to be deceased and she was placed in a box to transport her body for disposal. The defendant, Natasha Sellers, Aaron Bobinger and Kari Parker transported the body to O’Neal Road where her body was dumped in the Biloxi river.
Sentencing for Peterman was deferred until July 12, 2018. The only sentence that can be imposed is Life in the custody of the Department of Corrections. However, the State of Mississippi has amended the indictment to prosecute him as an habitual offender. Due to Peterman’s violent criminal history he would not be eligible for parole on his Life sentence. The remaining co- defendants will be sentenced at an upcoming term of court.