Tag: human trafficking

Adam Littleton sentenced to life for Jasilas Wright’s I-10 death

Adam Littleton was sentenced Thursday (Nov. 9) to a mandatory life sentence in prison, for his criminal culpability in causing the death of a woman who was fatally struck by vehicles on Interstate 10 in Metairie after she leapt from his moving car in trying to escape him.

Littleton, 26, a Mississippi native, was convicted as charged this summer of second-degree murder in the June 10, 2015, death of Jasilas Wright, 19.

According to evidence presented at trial, Wright met Littleton through her job as a dancer at Bourbon Street night clubs. In May 2015, she traveled with Littleton to Texas, where she engaged in prostitution. Littleton benefited financially from her prostitution.

On the morning she died, Wright and Littleton argued in the French Quarter before he forced her into his car with him, according to a witness.

However, unwilling to travel to Texas again, Wright jumped from Littleton’s car in the westbound lanes of I-10 near the Veterans Memorial Boulevard overpass. She was fatally struck by vehicles.

According to additional evidence presented at trial, Littleton witnessed Wright being struck by vehicles and yet continued driving to Texas. He never notified police.

He did speak with Wright’s family on the telephone, telling them only that she jumped from his car. He hung up and never spoke with them again.

Knowing that warrants for his arrest were pending in Jefferson Parish and New Orleans, Littleton surrendered to authorities in Shreveport.

Littleton was prosecuted under the felony-murder doctrine. Prosecutors alleged that he was engaged in the crime of second-degree kidnapping when Wright died, and as such, he was legally responsible for her death.

Following the conviction, Littleton’s defense counsel sought a new trial, citing numerous complaints. The defense argued, among other things, that prosecutors withheld information about a key witness’s criminal history.

After hearing argument, reading numerous briefs and listening to a recording of the key witness’s trial testimony, Judge Lee Faulkner of the 24th Judicial District Court ruled he found “no merit” to the defense assertions.

Judge Faulkner then sentenced Littleton to the mandatory life sentence.

The Louisiana State Police, Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office and New Orleans Police Department investigated the homicide.

Assistant District Attorneys Kellie Rish and Megan Gorman prosecuted the case.

Adam Littleton guilty of murder in I-10 death of Jasilas Wright

Adam Littleton, a Mississippi native, was found criminally responsible on Friday (July 28) for the death of a woman who attempted to escape his vehicle after being kidnapped by jumping from his car on Interstate 10 in Metairie.

Littleton, 25, was convicted as charged of second-degree murder in the June 10, 2015, death of Jasilas Wright, 19. According to testimony at trial, Wright met Littleton in connection with her job as a dancer at Bourbon Street nightclubs.

Littleton was prosecuted under the felony-murder doctrine. Shortly before Wright died, she and Littleton got into an altercation in the French Quarter. Littleton roughed up her to get her into his car, and they drove toward Metairie on I-10. As Wright died during the commission of a second-degree kidnapping, Littleton was found to be legally responsible for her death.

The month before her death, Wright went with Littleton and another woman to Texas for prostitution, a decision she regretted after he initially abandoned her there without money, she told family and friends in New Orleans in emotional phone calls, jurors heard this week in testimony.

Wright sought to distance herself from Littleton and the lifestyle, said Assistant District Attorney Kellie Rish, who prosecuted Littleton with Megan Gorman. “Jasilas was on the highway of human trafficking,” Rish told jurors. “She was looking for her exit.”

Shortly before her death, Littleton and Wright argued on Bourbon Street before he forced her into his car to drive her to Texas. Unwilling to go, Wright leapt from Littleton’s car in the I-10 westbound lanes where the interstate crosses over Veterans Memorial Boulevard. Several vehicles struck her and ran over her body numerous times. Many motorists called 911. But Littleton, who witnessed Wright being struck by cars, continued to Texas.

“What does Adam do? Nothing, because he knows he’s to blame,” Rish told jurors. “He doesn’t stop. He doesn’t call police.”

Wright suffered “massive trauma,” her death caused by “multiple blunt-force trauma,” forensic pathologist Dr. Marianne Eserman testified of her autopsy results.

After collecting personal items from the I-10 lanes and shoulders, the Louisiana State Police identified Wright as the victim, according to testimony. The items included Wright’s cell phone, a key piece of evidence, according to State Police.

Littleton spoke with Wright’s family on the phone, telling them that Wright jumped out of his car. He hung up, and they could never contact him again.

With warrants for his arrest issued in New Orleans and Jefferson Parish, Littleton surrendered to police in Shreveport. In addition to the State Police, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office and the New Orleans Police Department were involved in the investigation.

Littleton faces spending the rest of his life in prison, at hard labor and with no chance of probation, parole or suspension of sentence. Judge Lee Faulkner of the 24th Judicial District Court is scheduled to sentence Littleton on Aug. 22.


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Mississippi man pleads guilty in brutal human trafficking case

A Mississippi man was sentenced on Wednesday (March 8) to 20 years in prison for his role in a human trafficking case. Pierre Braddy’s guilty plea brings to two the number convictions obtained in connection with the April 2015 crimes, in which a 25-year-old Florida woman was severely beaten and forced into prostitution in Jefferson Parish.

Braddy, 28, of Jackson, pleaded guilty to forcible rape, human trafficking and obstruction of justice, admitting he was one of two Mississippi men to force her into prostitution and keep the money she earned. He entered the pleas late Tuesday afternoon, at the end of the first day of testimony in his trial that began on Monday, when the jury was seated.

The victim appeared in court Wednesday morning to provide impact testimony.

“I just wanted to let you know that I hope when you get out, and I know that you will get out, that you make better choices and that you don’t let someone manipulate or control you and let something like this happen,” she told Braddy. “It was very hurtful. It was very painful. But life goes on. I hope you have a good life.”

Braddy apologized to her. “I’m sorry I couldn’t be a man and stopped what happened,” he told her. He thanked the prosecutors and judge “for giving me a second chance.”

In sentencing Braddy, Judge Nancy Miller of the 24th Judicial District Court called his crimes “horrendous.” Of his victim, Judge Miller told him, “You have traumatized her forever.”

Braddy’s co-defendant, Willard Anthony, 30, of Madison, Miss., was convicted as charged by a Jefferson Parish Jury on Dec. 11, of two counts of aggravated rape, two counts of human trafficking, one count each of second-degree battery, aggravated battery, sexual battery and of possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

He forced the Florida victim into prostitution. Judge Miller sentenced Anthony to a mandatory life sentence in prison on Dec. 14.

Anthony initially met the victim at a hotel in Florida in 2015. She had turned to prostitution to earn money to support her drug habit and advertised her illegal services on backpage.com, a website known by law enforcement agencies for its prostitution advertisements, according to evidence presented in his December trial.

When the victim showed up for her “date” at a hotel room, she met Anthony, who was armed with a pistol. She was beaten and passed out, and when she woke, she was in a car driven by Anthony and had other women, all of whom were traveling to New Orleans. Braddy followed them in his parents’ sports utility vehicle.

After obtaining a motel room on Manhattan Boulevard in Harvey, Anthony and Braddy advertised her and other women on backpage.com, according to trial evidence. The victim, after a “date,” attempted to escape with a man who paid her for sex. Anthony pursued them in his car and flashed a pistol on a busy West Bank thoroughfare, leading the man to leave her behind. The victim attempted to get away on foot. Anthony caught her.

As a result, Anthony had other women beat the woman to the point that she lost consciousness, according to trial testimony. Anthony also made the woman lick a drop of her blood from his shoe and announced he would urinate on her if he could.

Braddy stepped in and forced her to drink his urine, and in doing so he orally raped her. Anthony vaginally raped her with the barrel of his pistol, from which her DNA was later recovered, according to trial evidence. To mask her facial injuries, they made her wear makeup they purchased from a nearby big-box store.

The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office Vice Squad encountered the victim while conducting a routine investigation of prostitution on April 13, 2015. The deputies randomly selected an advertisement on backpage.com.

An undercover JPSO deputy acted as a customer and arranged a date with the victim and went to the Harvey motel room. The Vice Squad was unaware of what transpired during the three days prior, when the victim was forced from Florida to Jefferson Parish, according to testimony in Anthony’s trial.

The undercover deputy testified that he saw the victim sitting on a bed. Her eyes were swollen, and she had a laceration above one of them. “When I saw her she was shivering. You could actually hear her teeth chattering,” the deputy testified.

Another woman in the room told him that the victim was not available. He negotiated for sexual services with the second woman, and once the transaction was confirmed, Vice Squad members raided the room.

The undercover deputy immediately drove the beaten victim to a hospital, given the extent of her injuries. “We later found out she was made to wear makeup so she could continue working. She had to make money” for her pimps, he testified.

After she was released from the hospital in the days that followed, she was extradited to Florida, where she had an open attachment.

Anthony was arrested at the motel on April 13, 2015, shortly after Vice Squad members rescued the victim. Braddy escaped in his sports utility vehicle with the pistol Anthony used to rape the victim and the drugs they used. His fleeing with evidence was the underlying act for the obstruction of justice charge. He was later arrested in Mississippi.

Following his prison sentence, Braddy will have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.

Assistant District Attorneys Lindsay Truhe and Doug Freese prosecuted the cases.

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