A Jefferson Parish jury Friday evening (June 17) found Lawrence Sly guilty as charged of second-degree murder for killing his neighbor, a crime that was the culmination of years of disputes between the two men.
Sly, now 70, shot Webber, 57, six times outside their homes in the 3800 block of Chinkapin Street, in the Woodmere subdivision. Webber was unarmed.
Just before the Nov. 11, 2019 encounter, Sly was leaving his home and noticed Webber was home. Sly then retrieved his Smith & Wesson 9mm semiautomatic pistol. As he departed, Webber emerged from his home and, according to Sly, threatened him.
Sly shot Webber in a knee, a shoulder and the other knee as the men stood on Sly’s property, at the sidewalk between their driveways. Sly then shot Webber in his back. As Webber stumbled across the street, Sly reloaded his pistol with another magazine.
Finally, after Webber collapsed on the sidewalk across Chinkapin Drive unable to walk further, Sly stood over the victim and shot him twice more in the head. Webber died there in a pool of his blood.
Sly remained on scene for the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office. He asserted self-defense, saying Webber was threatening him and reaching at his pants waistband as though he was armed. Sly alleged he shot Webber after Webber began walking menacing toward him and continued shooting him.
Sly also told detectives that he “shot him in his head because I wasn’t, I wasn’t letting him come back on me.”
The Sheriff’s Office booked Sly with manslaughter. A Jefferson Parish grand jury later returned with a charge of second-degree murder.
Evidence shows the neighbors’ disputes can be traced to Oct. 3, 2015, when Sly called the Sheriff’s Office to report that Webber was outside his home holding a shotgun. Deputies took no action because Webber committed no crimes.
On Oct. 30, 2015, the Sheriff’s Office again was summoned to Chinkapin Street because Webber was cutting his grass while holding the shotgun. He committed no crimes.
Two years later, Sly again called the Sheriff’s Office to report that Webber pointed the shotgun at him. For that, Webber was charged with felony aggravated assault. He pleaded guilty to misdemeanor aggravated assault and received one year of probation after Sly sought to drop charges. Webber remained on probation until April 2019
In May 2018, Sly and Webber engaged in a physical altercation that led to injuries requiring medical treatment.
The jury that was seated on Tuesday deliberated about 3 ½ hours Friday before returning its unanimous verdict. Judge Nancy Miller of the 24th Judicial District Court is scheduled to sentence Sly on July 11.
Assistant District Attorneys Joshua Vanderhooft and Lindsay Truhe prosecuted the case.