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.