John Blair McMillian gets 40-year sentence after manslaughter conviction

A Jefferson Parish judge sentenced John Blair McMillan IV to 40 years in prison on Thursday (Feb. 2), finding that he is a two-time felon under Louisiana’s habitual offender law.

McMillan, 58, of Marrero, was convicted as charged by a jury last month of manslaughter in the November 2020 death of his brother, Kenneth McMillan, 63.

The brothers, who had a volatile history, lived together in the 2600 block of Oklahoma Drive. It was there on Nov. 14, 2020, that John McMillan struck his brother, causing a brain injury that led to his death three days later.

On Thursday (Jan. 19), after denying a defense motion for a new trial and hearing an impact testimony statement by Kenneth McMillan’s son, 24th Judicial District Judge E. Adrian Adams sentenced McMillan to the maximum 40 years in prison for the manslaughter conviction.

Judge Adams separately sentenced McMillan to six months in jail for his related conviction of misdemeanor charges of resisting arrest and battery on a police officer. McMillan struck Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office Detective Kristian Fricke as the officer attempted to enter McMillan’s residence while serving a search warrant during the investigation into Kenneth McMillan’s death.

On Thursday, district attorney’s office argued that McMillan is a two-time felon. Prosecutors pointed to McMillan’s 2017 conviction of domestic abuse by strangulation. That incident occurred in April 2016 inside the Oklahoma Drive home and involved his physically abusing his girlfriend. He received an 18-month prison sentence for that crime.

In finding that McMillan is a habitual offender, Judge Adams vacated the 40-year sentence for the manslaughter and resentencing McMillan to 40 years in prison. The punishment is to be served without suspension of sentence.

Judge Adams also denied the defense motion to reconsider the sentence as excessive. A 40-year sentence is effectively a life sentence for McMillan, given his age, the defense attorney argued.

Assistant District Attorneys Zach Grate and Lashanda Webb prosecuted the case.