A Metairie man was convicted of attempted manslaughter on Wednesday (Aug. 31) for attacking another man in a bar with a machete. The 26-year-old victim’s right thumb was almost severed, and he received gashes to his head and back.
Akando Ducksworth, 33, a native of Moss Point, Miss., faces up to 20 years in prison in connection with the Oct. 11, 2015 attack inside the bar in the 5200 block of Veterans Memorial Boulevard, in Metairie.
Ducksworth and his girlfriend and the victim and another woman had been socializing at another bar on Veterans before going to the one where the attack occurred, according to testimony. In the exterior patio area at the second bar, Ducksworth and the victim exchanged hostile words and a shove during a disagreement over the defendant’s girlfriend.
Ducksworth ran to his car, and the victim returned to inside the bar. Ducksworth retrieved the machete from his car and ran back into the bar, rushing straight to the victim and swinging the weapon at the victim without hesitation, according to trial testimony and surveillance video, which the jury saw. The victim testified he didn’t see Ducksworth coming until the last moment.
“I couldn’t see what was in his hand,” the victim testified. “He was swinging with full force. I ducked, and I put my hand up to try to block what it was.”
The machete cut into the victim’s right hand, his thumb almost severed, he testified. He grabbed Ducksworth in a bear hug. “If I would have given him distance, he would have kept cutting me,” the victim testified.
Before bar patrons could disarm Ducksworth, the victim suffered three gashes to his back and two to his head. In arguing the actions constituted attempted murder, prosecutors argued Ducksworth intentionally tried to kill the victim by swinging the machete at the victim’s head.
In testimony, Ducksworth tearfully apologized for his actions. He testified that he was drunk during the attack and only wanted to hurt the victim. He testified he swung the machete only at the victim’s hand, and that the other five gashes were “accidental cuts.” His attorneys argued that the jury should find Ducksworth guilty of only an aggravated battery.
The jury of 11 women and one man deliberated about 2 1/3 hours. Judge Nancy Miller of the 24th Judicial District Court scheduled Ducksworth’s sentencing hearing for Tuesday (Sept. 6).
Assistant District Attorney Seth Shute prosecuted the case.