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Man Gets 20 Years For Fatally Stabbing DJ Who Took Him In After Prison Release

Sean Lamoureux had previously pleaded guilty to the November 2021 murder of Detroit disc jockey John O'Leary, with whom he was living at the time.

By Megan Carpentier
Killer Motive: What Drives People To Kill?

A Detroit-area man with a criminal record has earned another few decades behind bars for killing his roommate less than six months after his last release from prison.

Sean Lamoureux, 39, pleaded guilty on Sept. 23 to second-degree murder in the 2021 death of long-time Detroit DJ John O'Leary, 67, according to court records reviewed by Oxygen.com. As part of a plea deal in the case, prosecutors dropped charges of open murder and larceny in a building (i.e., theft) that were initially brought against him, according to a press release from the Wayne County Prosecutors Office.

For his crime, Lamoureux was sentenced to 20 to 40 years in prison with credit for 327 days of time served, as he has been incarcerated since his arrest on Nov. 24, 2021, which was the day before Thanksgiving.

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Police were dispatched to O'Leary's home in Highland Park — a northern suburb of Detroit — on Nov. 21, 2021 in response to reports of a stabbing. They found O'Leary's body in the backyard of his home, concealed under sheets, shingles and a wheelbarrow, the Detroit Free Press reported at the time. He had been stabbed multiple times.

The victim's friends said he'd been incommunicado for a week at that point, and had missed multiple meetings about his upcoming projects — friends told the Detroit News he'd been doing voiceover work since 2013 and was planning to launch a podcast about the history of Detroit radio. He also hadn't returned phone calls and had stopped posting on Facebook entirely.

Lamoureux was arrested three days later.

A police handout from 2017 of Sean Lamoureux

Police say that Lamoureaux was O'Leary's roommate, though court records suggest the two men couldn't have been sharing the house for very long. Lamoureaux had only been released from prison on June 1, 2021 after serving a year for larceny in a building in nearby Oakland County — a charge to which he pleaded guilty in July 2020, according to prison records reviewed by Oxygen.com.

At the time of that arrest, Lamoureaux was supposed to be on probation for a 2016 arrest in Wayne County for attempted possession of a controlled substance, for which he'd pleaded guilty. (A full possession charge was dropped at the time of his plea.) He's also served time for a home invasion burglary in Washtenaw County — outside of Ann Arbor — as well as possession of methamphetamines and resisting arrest, all of which he committed in the summer of 2009 and pleaded to in February 2010. 

O'Leary had been a rock radio station DJ in Detroit for nearly 40 years at the time of his death, before leaving in 2013 to do voiceover work. 

"He was all about local music," his friend and former boss, Doug Podell, told the Detroit News. "He did a lot of appearances for local bands, and tried to promote them wherever he went."

“He was just a guy who loved the music passionately,” radio historian Art Vuolo told Detroit NBC affiliate WDIV. “He was on the ground floor of what they used to call underground radio, progressive rock radio.”

O'Leary's friends held a memorial service in his honor in January, with a fundraiser to benefit the nearby Oxford High School, which was the scene of a deadly school shooting shortly after his death, according to the Detroit News. O'Leary had been the long-time announcer for the boys' hockey team at the school.

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