A Jefferson Parish jury on Thursday night (May 26) found Justin A. “Jeeky” Hutchinson guilty as charged of second-degree murder for shooting a New Orleans man repeatedly outside a Marrero bar and grill.
Using his 9mm semiautomatic pistol, Hutchinson, 32, of Marrero, shot Rashad Lewis once in the head, five times in his left abdomen and once in the pelvis as he sat in the driver’s seat of his parents’ 2016 Mercedes Benz SUV.
Hutchinson then grabbed Lewis’ .40 caliber semiautomatic pistol from inside the vehicle and fired repeatedly at the SUV. In all, Hutchinson fired 17 bullets at Lewis and Lewis’ SUV.
Lewis, 29, died at the scene from multiple gunshot wounds.
The shooting happened about 10 p.m., on Oct. 21, 2020, in a bar and grill parking lot in the 6500 block of Lapalco Boulevard. Lewis was among about 50 people gathered at the business to celebrate the memory of a friend who had been killed in New Orleans. Lewis was friends with that victim’s brother.
Immediately after shooting Lewis, Hutchinson ran by the entrance to the bar and waived the pistol at the patrons inside before he ran on. Hutchinson was known to many people in that part of Marrero.
A Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office juvenile detective who just completed curfew checks happened to be driving by, heard the gunfire and saw a man dressed in distinctive clothing — Hutchinson – running from the scene. The detective saw the suspect discard the 9mm pistol in a yard in the 2000 block of Betty Street. Sheriff’s Office ballistics experts later concluded that pistol was used in this crime. The .40-caliber pistol was not recovered.
The crime was recorded by a video surveillance system, and jurors were shown the recordings. The video showed Hutchinson and Lewis exchanging words several times in the minutes before the shooting. Further, Hutchinson was identified as the shooter.
Investigators also found Hutchinson’s social media posts from that evening, in which he told his followers two hours before he shot Lewis that he was at the Lapalco Boulevard bar and grill. After killing Lewis, Hutchinson remained at large for more than three weeks, when he surrendered to the Sheriff’s Office.
In addition to the murder charge, Hutchinson was convicted as charged of obstruction of justice, for removing the pistols from the scene.
He also was convicted as charged of two counts of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. He was legally prohibited from possessing guns because of a 2015 conviction of aggravated assault with a firearm. One count is based on his having the 9mm pistol, and the second one stems from his possessing Lewis’ .40-caliber pistol.
Hutchinson’s attorney argued that his client is innocent and was framed. Jurors deliberated almost 3 ½ hours before delivering its guilty verdicts.
Judge R. Christopher Cox III of the 24th Judicial District Court is scheduled to sentence Hutchinson on June 15.
Assistant District Attorneys Laura Schneidau and Brittany Beckner prosecuted the case.