Month: August 2023

A manslaughter, an armed robbery and a battery send Shawn Carter to prison for 75 years

A Jefferson Parish judge on Monday (Aug. 21) sentenced Shawn Carter to 75 years in prison as a 3-time felon, based on his most recent conviction of robbing a Gretna convenience store while armed with a claw hammer.

Carter, 50, of Avondale, has a criminal history that includes beating a man to death using a hammer in 1994.

His most recent conviction occurred on July 26, when a Jefferson Parish jury found Carter guilty as charged of the armed robbery of a business in the 900 block of Lafayette Street.

At about 12:30 a.m., on Feb. 11, 2021, Carter walked into the business and approached the 42-year-old clerk who was seated behind the counter. Wielding a hammer, Carter ordered the clerk to surrender his cell phone and to refrain from activating the panic alarm. Carter then ordered the clerk to open the cash register and threatened to kill him if he did not comply.

After getting the cash, Carter fled with the clerk’s cell phone and three bottles of liquor. The Gretna Police Department linked Carter to the crime, leading to his arrest at his Avondale home by a federal task force.

At the time, Carter was on parole for his 1996 conviction of manslaughter.

That homicide occurred on June 1, 1994, when Carter, then age 20, fatally beat 21-year-old Christian Smith to death in Smith’s home in the 2100 block of Hancock Street in Gretna. Carter was charged with first-degree murder but pleaded guilty to manslaughter in exchange for a 40-year sentence. He was paroled in 2014.

On Monday, 24th Judicial District Judge Ray Steib sentenced Carter to 50 years in prison for the armed robbery. Judge Steib then resentenced Carter to 75 years in finding that he is 3-time felon under Louisiana’s habitual offender law. The predicate offenses included the armed robbery, the manslaughter and a conviction of battery of a correctional officer.

Assistant District Attorneys Laura Schneidau and Blaine Moncrief prosecuted the case.

Daniel Tenner convicted of murdering Mississippi woman during West Bank armed robbery

A Jefferson Parish jury on Tuesday night (Aug. 15) convicted Daniel Tenner of killing a Mississippi woman while robbing her during a cell phone sale arranged through social media.

Tenner, 21, of Jackson, Miss., is guilty as charged of the first-degree murder of Morgan Tyrone, 24, of Pascagoula, Miss., jurors unanimously decided after three hours of deliberations.

On the evening of April 10, 2022, Tyrone, her 22-year-old partner and their 13-month-old son traveled from Pascagoula to the West Bank so Tyrone could purchase an iPhone 13 for $300. Tyrone and a person she believed was a woman had been discussing the transaction through Facebook Marketplace. It was Tenner using a woman’s Facebook account.

Tenner directed Tyrone to an apartment complex in the 300 block of Friedrichs Road in unincorporated Gretna. There, Tenner approached the Tyrone’s minivan’s driver’s side window. During the ensuing discussion, he showed the phone he purportedly wanted to sell. He asked if they had the money and then asked if they had a tool with which he could remove the phone’s SIM card.

During that time, Tyrone and Tenner were hesitant to exchange the cash and phone. Growing doubtful that the transaction would occur, Tyrone turned away to put the cash on the minivan’s center console. That’s when Tenner brandished the pistol, pointed it at the left rear side of Tyrone’s head and shot her without provocation.

He then pointed the pistol at Tyrone’s partner in the front passenger’s seat and demanded the cash. He reached over Tyrone’s body to grab the cash and then ran away.

Tyrone’s partner called 911, but not knowing where she was, she flagged a passerby who was able to give the 911 operator their location.

Immediately after shooting Tyrone, Tenner fled to a nearby apartment and then to Jackson, Miss. The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office received a tip via Crimestoppers identifying Tenner as the killer and giving his location. A U.S. Marshals Service fugitive task force found and arrested Tenner in Jackson on May 17, 2022.

Sheriff’s Office detectives confirmed Tenner’s whereabouts, including placing him at the murder scene and fleeing north toward Jackson, by using his cell phone records.

During the 1 ½-hour interview with a detective, Tenner confessed. At its conclusion, the detective left Tenner alone in the room with pen and paper. Tenner penned a statement in which he admitted shooting Tyrone but asserted he did so because she “was grabbing something” or thought she was taking his iPhone. “I was giving the phone to you guys for a cheap price,” he wrote. “Yes, I am truly sorry with what happen [sic]. I am. I didn’t mean for nothing like that to happen.”

Jurors watched a video recording of that interview and read Tenner’s statement.

Tenner’s public defenders argued their client was not guilty. They asserted that he was armed because he was meeting strangers at night. Tenner became fearful when Tyrone turned away from him, the defense asserted. They also described it as “a tragic accident.” They said that Tenner did not have specific intent to kill or inflict great bodily harm, which are necessary elements of proving murder.

In closing argument Tuesday, Assistant District Attorney LaShanda Webb reminded jurors that Tenner threatened to kill Tyrone’s partner if she didn’t give him the cash.

“What more do you need to prove intent?” Webb argued. “If it wasn’t about robbery, why would he even take the money? Why would he reach over Morgan, who he just killed, to take the money?”

In addition to the murder, jurors found Tenner guilty of armed robbery and obstruction of justice – for discarding the firearm he used to kill Tyrone.

Judge Donald “Chick” Foret of the 24th Judicial District Court is scheduled to sentence Tenner to a mandatory life sentence in prison on Sept. 15. The District Attorney’s Office did not seek the death penalty.

Assistant District Attorneys LaShanda Webb and Brittany Beckner prosecuted the case.


Sean Bennett pleads guilty to vehicular homicide for fatal Metairie collision, gets 17-year sentence

A Jefferson Parish judge on Thursday (Aug. 3) sentenced Sean Bennett to 17 years in prison, after he pleaded guilty to driving under the influence of illegal narcotics when he caused a collision that killed a woman, injured her husband and injured another motorist in Metairie last year.

Bennett, 27, of Poplarville, Miss., pleaded guilty as charged to vehicular homicide for causing the death of Lyn Garnett, 75, of New Orleans.

He separately pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts of vehicular negligent injury, and to driving with a suspended driver’s license. Garnett’s 72-year-old husband was injured, as was the 72-year-old driver of another vehicle.

Bennett had been using cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine when he was traveling north on Causeway Boulevard in a 2016 Nissan Altima at 105 mph on the morning of April 16, 2022.

As he approached the vehicles stopped at the red light at West Esplanade Avenue at 10:39 a.m., Bennett drove into Causeway’s dedicated right-turn lane to bypass the congestion.

He proceeded into the eastbound lane of West Esplanade, where his car collided with a 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe driven by a 72-year-old Westwego man.

After that collision, Bennett’s car fishtailed and spun out of control and into the westbound lanes of West Esplanade. His car then collided with the Garnetts’ 2000 Chrysler Voyager.

The event data recorder in Bennett’s vehicle showed his car was moving at 103 mph when it collided with the Garnett’s vehicle. At no time did Bennett apply his brakes as he ran the red light or after the collisions.

The Garnetts’ vehicle struck a traffic signal light post. Bennett’s car struck a tree and then a different traffic signal light post.

Lyn Garnett was rushed to a hospital and underwent emergency surgery. She died from her injuries on June 7, 2022. Her husband also was transported to a hospital for treatment.

The 72-year-old Westwego man was treated on the scene and then traveled to a hospital on his own.

At a hospital, Bennett told Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office investigators that he was hallucinating and thinking that someone was seeking his family to hurt them. So, he was rushing to his family, he asserted. He later pleaded not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity.

In accepting his guilty pleas Thursday, and after hearing victim-impact testimony from numerous witnesses, 24th Judicial District Judge Shayna Beevers Morvant sentenced Bennett to 17 years in prison for the vehicular homicide and six months for each of the three misdemeanor charges. She ran the sentences concurrently.

Assistant District Attorney Matthew Whitworth prosecuted the case.


Jefferson Parish mourns the passing of former DA John Mamoulides

The Jefferson Parish District Attorney’s Office mourns the death of John Mamoulides. His service to the citizens of Jefferson Parish, as an assistant district attorney, executive district attorney and as the elected district attorney, spanned three decades.

Before his retirement in 1996, Mr. Mamoulides left his mark not only on Jefferson Parish but on the state of Louisiana. After he was elected district attorney in 1972, serving three 6-year terms, Mr. Mamoulides was instrumental in the creation of the Louisiana District Attorney’s Association and later served as the elected president of the organization.

In Jefferson Parish, Mr. Mamoulides created the District Attorney’s Office pre-trial diversion program. Mr. Mamoulides also oversaw the creation of the Jefferson Children’s Advocacy Center, established the Child Support Enforcement Division and the Consumer Protection Division.

His legacy remains apparent today, as many of the programs he implemented during his tenure are still in place.

“His influence on our criminal justice system, both locally and statewide, cannot be overstated,” said District Attorney Paul D. Connick, Jr., who worked as an assistant district attorney under Mr. Mamoulides before he was elected to the post in 1996. It was a privilege to work for him.”

Our thoughts and prayers are with his family,” Mr. Connick said.

Click here to read Mr. Mamoulides’ obituary.

Click here to download our John Mamoulides statement.