A New Orleans teenager pleaded guilty to manslaughter on Tuesday (July 12), as the gunman in a Harvey shooting that left a 24-year-old man dead.
Everis Hilton, 18, will be sentenced to 40 years in prison, the maximum for manslaughter, during a July 18 hearing, Judge Lee Faulkner of the 24th Judicial District Court said Tuesday in accepting the guilty plea.
Hilton was 16 years old on June 27, 2014, when he and another teen planned to rob Demone Robinson of Xanax pills. Robinson was shot multiple times and died in the 1000 block of Inca Drive.
Hilton was charged with second-degree murder and, because he was a juvenile at the time of the offense, he potentially faced life in prison with or without parole eligibility had he been convicted of that crime. But as part of a negotiated agreement, he pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter.
A co-defendant, Raynell Whittaker, 19, of Harvey, pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the case on June 10. He is scheduled to be sentenced on July 18 to 30 years in prison. He also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to possess Xanax, for which he will receive a 2 1/2-year sentence that will be run concurrently with the punishment for manslaughter.
According to court documents, Markeisha T. Lewis, who had been romantically involved with Whittaker’s mother, conceived the plan to rob Robinson of the Xanax pills. She and Whittaker were to meet with Robinson for the transaction, during which they would say, “We about to get crunk” to signal to Hilton to rob the victim.
Upon hearing the signal, Hilton, who was armed, approached and shot Robinson. Hilton then removed Robinson’s pistol and gave it to Lewis, according to court documents.
After returning to Whittaker’s apartment, he asked Hilton why he shot Robinson. Hilton responded, “I had to. He was going to kill me,” according to court documents.
Lewis, 25, of Harvey, awaits trial on charges of second-degree murder, obstruction of justice and conspiracy to possess Xanax in connection with Robinson’s death.
At the time a Jefferson Parish grand jury handed up charges in Robinson’s homicide, Whittaker and Everis already were in state prison in connection with their guilty pleas to armed robbery in Orleans Parish Criminal District Court.
That crime happened sixteen days before Robinson was killed. Whittaker and Everis admitted they robbed a man of his cell phone in the 600 block of Third Street, in New Orleans’ Irish Channel. They are currently serving 10-year prison sentences for that crime.
Judge Faulkner is running the sentences for the Harvey crime concurrently with the sentences they are serving for the New Orleans armed robbery.
Assistant District Attorneys Lindsay Truhe and Michael Smith prosecuted the cases.