Tag: jefferson parish sheriff’s office

Kemon ‘Tut’ Howard convicted of murdering teen outside Terrytown Library

A Jefferson Parish jury on Wednesday night (Nov. 15) found Kemon “Tut” Howard guilty as charged of fatally shooting another teen in the face as he sat in a car on a Terrytown street.

Howard, 20, of Harvey, committed the second-degree murder of Ronnie Brown, 19, of New Orleans, jurors announced after an hour of deliberation. Howard was 17 when he killed Brown and was prosecuted as an adult.

At about 10 a.m. on Jan. 24, 2021, the two teens, who had been acquaintances since childhood, met outside Terrytown Library in the 600 block of Heritage Place to discuss exchanging a pistol. Across the street from the library is Terrytown Playground, where on that Sunday morning about 200 people were gathered inside the gymnasium for an event.

Brown, who drove to the West Bank with his 18-year-old girlfriend in the front passenger’s seat, initially parked in the library’s parking lot. Howard approached the parking lot on foot. Brown then pulled onto Heritage Avenue adjacent to the parking lot and asked Howard to get into the car.

Without provocation, Howard pulled out a pistol, extended his arm into the opened driver’s window and fired three bullets, striking Brown in his face and elsewhere on his body.

Mortally wounded, Brown climbed into the back seat and then out of the car through a rear door. He left the car in drive, and as it rolled up the street, Brown’s girlfriend picked up his pistol, leaned out the driver’s window and fired once at Howard in self-defense. The car struck a light post next to the library and came to a stop.

Brown, meanwhile, ran up the street to his girlfriend, pointing to his mouth. He was unable to speak because a 9mm bullet punched through his upper lip and traveled through his mouth and his neck and into his chest. He then collapsed and died in the street.

Howard fled on foot into the playground and escaped. Numerous people called 911, but callers could only provide general descriptions of the shooter’s build and clothing. Brown’s girlfriend only knew Howard through his nickname, “Tut.” Much of the incident was recorded by the security cameras at the library and a nearby home.

Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office detectives identified Howard as the shooter, in part through his social media communication with Brown, and arrested him two days later.

Howard’s attorneys argued self-defense, asserting that Brown lay in wait in the back seat of a car that their client did not recognize. The attorneys alleged that Brown’s girlfriend was driving the car, which had been stolen in New Orleans, and that Brown was armed with a pistol that also was stolen in New Orleans.

Judge Stephen Enright of the 24th Judicial District Court is scheduled to sentence Howard on Dec. 18.

Assistant District Attorneys Carolyn Chkautovich and Brittany Beckner Heckford prosecuted the case.

Charles Ross convicted of first-degree murder for killing his ex-girlfriend in Metairie

A Jefferson Parish jury on Thursday (Nov. 2) found Charles Ross guilty of murdering his ex-girlfriend in her Metairie apartment while her special needs daughter watched.

Ross, 45, robbed a man of his pickup truck in Baton Rouge and drove to the 100 block of Houma Boulevard, where at about 3 a.m., on June 3, 2021, he kicked open Nygia Lambert’s apartment door and shot her eight times as she hid under her bed pleading for her life.

Lambert’s 24-year-old daughter locked herself in the bathroom and called 911, telling the operator, “Mr. Ross killed my mom.” Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies found Lambert’s lifeless, naked body. She was 47, the mother of five daughters and the grandmother of one child.

For that, he was convicted as charged of first-degree murder. The District Attorney’s Office did not seek the death penalty, meaning life in prison is the mandatory punishment. Jurors also found Ross guilty of attempted obstruction of justice, for fleeing with the murder weapon.

A convicted felon who served time in prison for beating a previous girlfriend and was legally barred from possessing firearms, Ross armed himself with a 9mm semiautomatic pistol and carjacked a man in Baton Rouge. He succeeded in eluding police officers who pursued him.

In testimony Thursday, Ross told jurors that upon learning Lambert ended their relationship, he went on a cocaine binge. From the witness stand, he openly admitted he killed Lambert. His attorneys asked jurors to consider convicting him of manslaughter, a lesser homicide that carries a punishment of up to 40 years in prison and involves a killing “committed in sudden passion or heat of blood immediately caused by provocation sufficient to deprive an average person of his self-control and cool reflection.”

However, the state argued that Ross’ actions bely that of manslaughter. His text messages show that a full 12 hours before he killed Lambert, Ross told another woman that, “I’m going to f— this girl up.”

When Louisiana State Police arrested Ross in Baton Rouge, he was in possession of the murder weapon and the keys to the pickup truck he stole.

The jury that was selected on Tuesday deliberated about 1 ½ hours Thursday before returning with its verdicts. Judge Stephen Grefer of the 24th Judicial District Court is scheduled to sentence Ross on Nov. 13.

Assistant District Attorneys Rachel Africk and Blaine Moncrief prosecuted the case.

Convicted of killing girlfriend with zip tie, Dennis Sheppard sentenced to life in prison

A Jefferson Parish judge on Monday (Oct. 30) sentenced Dennis Sheppard to life in prison for killing his girlfriend by tightening a zip tie around her neck and suffocating her.

Sheppard, 60, of Harvey, killed Jyra Holmes on Nov. 2, 2020, during a domestic dispute outside her apartment in the 1500 block of Chelsea Road in Harvey. After pulling the zip tie tightly, Sheppard pushed Holmes to the ground in full view of witnesses.

“She wanted me dead; now she’s dead,” Sheppard said as he killed her. A U.S. Marshals Service fugitive task force arrested Sheppard three days later in Bay St. Louis, Miss.

A Jefferson Parish jury on Sept. 28 deliberated just over one-half hour in convicting Sheppard as charged of second-degree murder. Life in prison with no probation, parole or suspension of sentence is the mandatory punishment for the crime in Louisiana.

On Monday, Holmes’ twin sister provided victim-impact testimony, describing Sheppard’s behavior as “an evil act,” and saying, “I hope the only mercy you get for the rest of your life is the mercy you showed my sister.”

After denying defense motions for a new trial and post-verdict judgment of acquittal, Judge June Berry Darensburg of the 24th Judicial District Court noted how Sheppard fled the state after killing Holmes.

“She had a full life ahead of her; she was very young,” Judge Darensburg said. “To take someone’s life, I would have to agree with the impact testimony: It was an evil act.”

Assistant District Attorneys Kristen Landrieu and Carolyn Chkautovich prosecuted the case.

Albert Lewis guilty of home invasion in which resident shot him in the head

A Jefferson Parish jury on Wednesday evening (Oct. 11) found Albert Lewis guilty of violently forcing his way into a Marrero home, leading a resident to shoot him in the head to defend herself and her family.

Albert Lewis, 43, of Marrero, is guilty as charged of home invasion in connection with the New Year’s Eve 2022 incident in the 1100 block of Martin Drive, jurors determined during less than 30 minutes of deliberations.

At about 1:15 p.m., on Dec. 31, Lewis was at a residence on Martin Drive when he exited behaving erratically. At a nearby residence, meanwhile, a 28-year-old woman stepped outside her front door with her 1-year-old son to take photographs before they traveled to Slidell to attend a party.

After several minutes of erratic behavior, Lewis walked up the street and stopped in front of the woman’s home. From the sidewalk, he spoke to the woman, who ignored him. Neither she nor her family knew Lewis.

Lewis then walked toward the victim and banged on the hood of a vehicle in her driveway. She turned to pick up her son. He grabbed her from behind. She broke away, picked up her son and went inside. He followed her to her front door.

One of her nephews inside heard the commotion. He opened the door to let her in, then closed and locked it. Once inside, the woman handed her toddler to her other nephew and retrieved her .380 semiautomatic pistol. She told Lewis to leave several times. So, too, did her nephews, one of whom armed himself with a kitchen knife.

Lewis continued to force his way inside and broke and forced the door open. Lewis stepped over the threshold. Two residents saw Lewis step inside.

The woman, fearing for her life, then shot Lewis. He stumbled backwards and collapsed just outside the doorway. She then called 911 and waited for the officers to arrive.

Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies, responding to a report of an aggravated battery by shooting, arrived to find Lewis unresponsive and lying face down. Deputies also observed the damaged security and front door.

In addition to the victim, her toddler and her two nephews, her disabled grandmother was in the home when Lewis forced his way inside.

The Sheriff’s Office determined that the woman’s action was reasonable and justified. Lewis was arrested after he was released from a hospital.

Lewis’ public defenders argued that his behavior, while inexcusable, did not meet the legal criteria needed to convict him of home invasion, namely that he had the intention to enter. They said Lewis was behaving like “a mad man” because he was probably under the influence of narcotics or alcohol, which left him unable to formulate the required intent to commit home invasion.

Judge Lee Faulkner of the 24th Judicial District Court is scheduled to sentence Lewis on Oct. 25.

Assistant District Attorneys Ashton Robinson and Blaine Moncrief prosecuted the case.

After ‘Ramos’ retrial, Dartanya Spottsville sentenced to back-to-back life sentences for two West Bank murders

A Jefferson Parish judge on Wednesday (Oct. 11) ordered Dartanya Spottsville to serve back-to-back life sentences in prison, plus another 50 years, for his role in a shooting inside a Harvey apartment that left two men dead and a third injured on Father’s Day 2015.

Spottsville, 35, of Marrero, was convicted as charged by a jury on Sept. 7 of two counts of second-degree murder, one count of attempted second-degree murder and one count of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.

Click here to read about the trial.

Wednesday marked the second time Spottsville was sentenced for the crimes. He was convicted as charged of all counts by a jury in 2019. But the jury was not unanimous. As such, Spottsville received a new trial after the U.S. Supreme Court opined in its Ramos v. Louisiana decision that nonunanimous verdicts are unconstitutional.

Spottsville was one of three men who entered an apartment in the 1600 block of Apache Drive on June 21, 2015. Gunfire erupted, leaving Johnell Ovide and Trammell Marshall dead. They were ages 23 and 21, respectively. The surviving victim, who was 23 at the time, was shot three times, including once in his face.

Citing the seriousness of the homicides and the seriousness of the injuries the surviving victim sustained, 24th Judicial District Judge Stephen Grefer on Wednesday sentenced Spottsville to two consecutive life sentences, to be served consecutively to the 50-year sentence he gave for the attempted second-degree murder.

Judge Grefer also sentenced Spotsville to 10 years for the firearm charge. Spottsville was prohibited from possessing firearms because of a conviction of heroin possession in Jefferson Parish.

Assistant District Attorneys Matthew Clauss and Blaine Moncrief prosecuted the case.

Daniel Tenner sentenced to life plus 139 years for murdering Mississippi woman

A Jefferson Parish judge on Friday (Sept. 15) sentenced Daniel Tenner to life plus 139 years in prison for his conviction of killing a Mississippi woman while robbing her during a cell phone sale they arranged through social media.

Tenner, 21, of Jackson, Miss., shot Morgan Tyrone in the back of her head after she drove from her home in Pascagoula, Miss., to the West Bank to purchase an iPhone 13 for $300 on the evening of April 10, 2022. She died in the driver’s seat of her minivan.

Tyrone was 24. She was murdered in front of her partner and her partner’s 13-month-old son who was in a child seat.

Tenner used a woman’s Facebook account to communicate with Tyrone via Facebook Marketplace. Tyrone believed she was negotiating the purchase with a woman.

A Jefferson Parish jury on Aug. 15 found Tenner guilty as charged of first-degree murder, armed robbery and obstruction of justice in connection with the crimes.

Click here to read about the trial and conviction.

Tenner appeared Friday before 24th Judicial District Judge Donald “Chick” Foret to receive the sentences.

Tyrone’s older brother, mother and partner provided victim-impact testimony. Before announcing the sentence, Judge Foret praised the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office homicide detectives for quickly solving the case and lectured Tenner, referring from the 29 pages of notes he said he jotted down during the trial.

Judge Foret noted testimony from the forensic pathologist who conducted the autopsy: Tenner placed the pistol barrel to Tyrone’s neck and fired, the bullet severing her spinal cord and killing her instantly. He noted that Tenner shot the woman in front of her partner and the toddler. “This is as bad as it gets, Mr. Tenner,” Judge Foret said.

The punishment for first-degree murder is mandatory life in prison without benefit of probation, parole or suspension of sentence. Judge Foret sentenced Tenner to 99 years for the armed robbery and 40 years for the obstruction of justice – both the maximum sentences. Judge Foret ran the sentences consecutively, or back-to-back.

“If I could give you more, I’d give you more,” Judge Foret told Tenner. “This is a tragic thing you’ve done. You’ve ruined these peoples’ lives.”

The District Attorney’s Office did not seek the death penalty.

Assistant District Attorneys LaShanda Webb and Brittany Beckner prosecuted the case.

Dartanya Spottsville convicted again of Father’s Day 2015 attack that left two dead, one injured

A Jefferson Parish jury on Thursday night (Sept. 7) found Dartanya O. Spottsville guilty of his role in the murders of a pair of cousins who were shot during an apparent ambush inside a West Bank apartment on Father’s Day 2015.

Spottsville, 35, of Marrero, was convicted as charged of two counts of second-degree murder in the deaths of Johnell Ovide and Trammell Marshall, one count of attempted second-degree murder in the shooting of another man and one count of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.

His conviction brings to two the number of times he’s been found guilty of the crimes.

The first time Spottsville was convicted was in September 2019. Jurors in that trial did not return with unanimous verdicts. The following year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in an unrelated case, Ramos v. Louisiana, that non-unanimous verdicts are unconstitutional. As a result of the Ramos decision, Spottsville received a new trial.

About 10 p.m., on June 21, 2015, Spottsville and two friends — Jacobie Green and Johnell Walker, both of whom were armed — arrived unexpected at a small, one-bedroom apartment in the 1600 block of Apache Drive, just off Manhattan Boulevard in Harvey. Spottsville and Walker sat on sofas in the living room. Green stood in the doorway, the only way out of the apartment.

Ovide, Marshall and two other men already were at the apartment. At least two of those men had pistols.

Ovide allowed Spottsville to handle his pistol. After doing so, Spottsville handed the pistol back to Ovide. Spottsville then held the pistol owned by the surviving victim. For unknown reasons and without provocation, Spottsville shot Ovide and then shot the surviving victim. Chaos ensued, with Green and Walker, immediately opening fire and striking the three victims.

The 23-year-old man who rented the apartment fled into his bedroom and dove through a closed window to escape. At the same time, Spottsville ran past Green and out of the apartment, likely in pursuit of the renter who was able to escape. Marshall ran into the kitchen, followed by Green and Walker, and more shots were fired there.

By the time the gunfire ended, Ovide, 23, was shot three times, with one of the bullets piercing both lungs and his heart. Marshall, 21, was shot five times; three of those bullets struck his body from the rear. The surviving victim was shot three times, including once in the face.

Spottsville, Green and Walker fled and were not injured.

Hiding nearby in the apartment complex, the renter who escaped called 911. The first Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office deputy arrived two minutes later to find the three gunshot victims outside the apartment. Ovide lay dead or dying in the grass near Marshall, who died a short while later at a hospital. The third victim sat leaning against the apartment’s entry doorframe.

Detectives immediately identified Spottsville as a suspect and obtained an arrest warrant. Spottsville surrendered the following day.

Spottsville initially denied involvement and told detectives that he was in New Orleans East when the shooting occurred. But detectives refuted the alibi assertion by using his cell phone to show that he was, in fact, near the murder scene when the shooting occurred. His cell phone data showed he went to New Orleans East only after the shooting.

In testimony Thursday, Spottsville admitted he lied to detectives about being in New Orleans East. Explaining why he fired a pistol, he asserted self-defense. He told jurors he was sitting on a sofa looking at his phone when he looked up to find a pistol pointed at him. During a tussle for the pistol, it fired, he testified. He wrestled the pistol away, fired it once at the surviving victim, dropped it and fled, Spottsville told jurors. He heard more gunfire as he ran to his car, he asserted.

Under cross-examination, Spottsville was pressed on why he raised self-defense only after his alibi effort failed. He was questioned about why the pistol he said he dropped in the living room was never found. And he was asked about why his and Green’s cell phone data showed they left the murder scene and went straight to Lake Pontchartrain’s Lincoln Beach in New Orleans East.

In rebuttal, prosecutors provided expert witness testimony to show that three bullet casings were found in the living room that were fired by the pistol that Spottsville said was fired only twice. Further, the location of the ejected bullet casings in the living room was consistent with where two witnesses said Spottsville stood when he shot Ovide and then the surviving victim. The evidence shows that all but one of the bullets that the trio fired in the apartment struck victims; the other bullet struck a wall.

Spottsville, Green and Walker were prosecuted as principals to the murders, meaning they were working in concert with each other in committing the crimes. A look at the convictions shows:

  • Green, 31, of New Orleans, was convicted of two counts of second-degree murder and one count of attempted second-degree murder. He was sentenced to life in prison without probation, parole or suspension of sentence in September 2018.
  • Walker, 29, of Marrero, was convicted of two counts of second-degree murder and one count of attempted second-degree murder. He was sentenced to life in prison without probation, parole or suspension of sentence in October 2021. Nine days after he was sentenced, Walker was found unresponsive at the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center and was pronounced dead at a local hospital.
  • Archie Hulbert III, 39, of Algiers, pleaded guilty as charged to perjury in February 2018 and received a 7-year prison sentence. He admitted to lying to detectives about the time Green arrived at a Terrytown location after the murders occurred.

The jury that was seated on Monday deliberated almost four hours Thursday before unanimously convicting Spottsville of the murder and attempted murder counts, and for being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. He was prohibited from possessing guns because of a previous conviction of heroin possession in Jefferson Parish.

Judge Stephen Grefer of the 24th Judicial District Court is scheduled to sentence Spottsville on Oct. 11.

Assistant District Attorneys Matthew Clauss and Blaine Moncrief prosecuted the case.


Daniel Tenner convicted of murdering Mississippi woman during West Bank armed robbery

A Jefferson Parish jury on Tuesday night (Aug. 15) convicted Daniel Tenner of killing a Mississippi woman while robbing her during a cell phone sale arranged through social media.

Tenner, 21, of Jackson, Miss., is guilty as charged of the first-degree murder of Morgan Tyrone, 24, of Pascagoula, Miss., jurors unanimously decided after three hours of deliberations.

On the evening of April 10, 2022, Tyrone, her 22-year-old partner and their 13-month-old son traveled from Pascagoula to the West Bank so Tyrone could purchase an iPhone 13 for $300. Tyrone and a person she believed was a woman had been discussing the transaction through Facebook Marketplace. It was Tenner using a woman’s Facebook account.

Tenner directed Tyrone to an apartment complex in the 300 block of Friedrichs Road in unincorporated Gretna. There, Tenner approached the Tyrone’s minivan’s driver’s side window. During the ensuing discussion, he showed the phone he purportedly wanted to sell. He asked if they had the money and then asked if they had a tool with which he could remove the phone’s SIM card.

During that time, Tyrone and Tenner were hesitant to exchange the cash and phone. Growing doubtful that the transaction would occur, Tyrone turned away to put the cash on the minivan’s center console. That’s when Tenner brandished the pistol, pointed it at the left rear side of Tyrone’s head and shot her without provocation.

He then pointed the pistol at Tyrone’s partner in the front passenger’s seat and demanded the cash. He reached over Tyrone’s body to grab the cash and then ran away.

Tyrone’s partner called 911, but not knowing where she was, she flagged a passerby who was able to give the 911 operator their location.

Immediately after shooting Tyrone, Tenner fled to a nearby apartment and then to Jackson, Miss. The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office received a tip via Crimestoppers identifying Tenner as the killer and giving his location. A U.S. Marshals Service fugitive task force found and arrested Tenner in Jackson on May 17, 2022.

Sheriff’s Office detectives confirmed Tenner’s whereabouts, including placing him at the murder scene and fleeing north toward Jackson, by using his cell phone records.

During the 1 ½-hour interview with a detective, Tenner confessed. At its conclusion, the detective left Tenner alone in the room with pen and paper. Tenner penned a statement in which he admitted shooting Tyrone but asserted he did so because she “was grabbing something” or thought she was taking his iPhone. “I was giving the phone to you guys for a cheap price,” he wrote. “Yes, I am truly sorry with what happen [sic]. I am. I didn’t mean for nothing like that to happen.”

Jurors watched a video recording of that interview and read Tenner’s statement.

Tenner’s public defenders argued their client was not guilty. They asserted that he was armed because he was meeting strangers at night. Tenner became fearful when Tyrone turned away from him, the defense asserted. They also described it as “a tragic accident.” They said that Tenner did not have specific intent to kill or inflict great bodily harm, which are necessary elements of proving murder.

In closing argument Tuesday, Assistant District Attorney LaShanda Webb reminded jurors that Tenner threatened to kill Tyrone’s partner if she didn’t give him the cash.

“What more do you need to prove intent?” Webb argued. “If it wasn’t about robbery, why would he even take the money? Why would he reach over Morgan, who he just killed, to take the money?”

In addition to the murder, jurors found Tenner guilty of armed robbery and obstruction of justice – for discarding the firearm he used to kill Tyrone.

Judge Donald “Chick” Foret of the 24th Judicial District Court is scheduled to sentence Tenner to a mandatory life sentence in prison on Sept. 15. The District Attorney’s Office did not seek the death penalty.

Assistant District Attorneys LaShanda Webb and Brittany Beckner prosecuted the case.


Sean Bennett pleads guilty to vehicular homicide for fatal Metairie collision, gets 17-year sentence

A Jefferson Parish judge on Thursday (Aug. 3) sentenced Sean Bennett to 17 years in prison, after he pleaded guilty to driving under the influence of illegal narcotics when he caused a collision that killed a woman, injured her husband and injured another motorist in Metairie last year.

Bennett, 27, of Poplarville, Miss., pleaded guilty as charged to vehicular homicide for causing the death of Lyn Garnett, 75, of New Orleans.

He separately pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts of vehicular negligent injury, and to driving with a suspended driver’s license. Garnett’s 72-year-old husband was injured, as was the 72-year-old driver of another vehicle.

Bennett had been using cocaine, marijuana and methamphetamine when he was traveling north on Causeway Boulevard in a 2016 Nissan Altima at 105 mph on the morning of April 16, 2022.

As he approached the vehicles stopped at the red light at West Esplanade Avenue at 10:39 a.m., Bennett drove into Causeway’s dedicated right-turn lane to bypass the congestion.

He proceeded into the eastbound lane of West Esplanade, where his car collided with a 2020 Hyundai Santa Fe driven by a 72-year-old Westwego man.

After that collision, Bennett’s car fishtailed and spun out of control and into the westbound lanes of West Esplanade. His car then collided with the Garnetts’ 2000 Chrysler Voyager.

The event data recorder in Bennett’s vehicle showed his car was moving at 103 mph when it collided with the Garnett’s vehicle. At no time did Bennett apply his brakes as he ran the red light or after the collisions.

The Garnetts’ vehicle struck a traffic signal light post. Bennett’s car struck a tree and then a different traffic signal light post.

Lyn Garnett was rushed to a hospital and underwent emergency surgery. She died from her injuries on June 7, 2022. Her husband also was transported to a hospital for treatment.

The 72-year-old Westwego man was treated on the scene and then traveled to a hospital on his own.

At a hospital, Bennett told Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office investigators that he was hallucinating and thinking that someone was seeking his family to hurt them. So, he was rushing to his family, he asserted. He later pleaded not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity.

In accepting his guilty pleas Thursday, and after hearing victim-impact testimony from numerous witnesses, 24th Judicial District Judge Shayna Beevers Morvant sentenced Bennett to 17 years in prison for the vehicular homicide and six months for each of the three misdemeanor charges. She ran the sentences concurrently.

Assistant District Attorney Matthew Whitworth prosecuted the case.


On parole for ’94 homicide, Shawn Carter convicted of robbing Gretna store using a hammer

A Jefferson Parish jury on Wednesday (July 26) found Shawn Carter guilty of robbing a Gretna convenience store while using a hammer.

Carter, 50, of Avondale, is guilty as charged of the armed robbery of the business. At the time he committed this crime, Carter was on parole for killing a man by beating him to death with a hammer.

About 12:30 a.m., on Feb. 11, 2021, Carter walked into the convenience store in the 900 block of Lafayette Street. He immediately approached the 42-year-old clerk who was seated behind the counter.

Wielding the hammer, Carter demanded the clerk hand over his phone and to refrain from activating a panic alarm. He ordered the clerk to open the cash register and threatened to kill the clerk if he didn’t comply.

In opening the register, the clerk dropped the cash drawer. Carter ordered the clerk to pick up the money. The clerk refused, and so Carter grabbed him by the throat and pushed him to the floor.

Carter pocketed the money, and the clerk fled to a stock room and locked the door. Through a window in the door, the clerk observed Carter taking three bottles of liquor and fleeing on Lafayette Street toward the Mississippi River.

In addition to the cash and liquor, Carter stole the clerk’s iPhone. An hour later, Gretna Police Department detectives tracked the stolen phone to a yard in the 600 block of 6th Street, about six blocks away from the crime scene. Carter’s fingerprint later was found on the phone, leading detectives to identify Carter as their suspect.

As he fled into the residential neighborhood after committing the armed robbery, Carter discarded his Atlanta Falcons cap and shirt in the 400 block of 9th Street. Gretna police recovered that evidence using a canine, Max, which tracked Carter’s scent from the crime scene. While canvassing the area for more evidence, officers found the claw hammer in a storm drain in that same block.

The U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force located and arrested Carter at his Avondale home on March 3, 2021.

A Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office Crime Lab DNA analyst, meanwhile, found Carter’s genetic material on the cap, shirt and hammer.

On June 1, 1994, Carter used a hammer to beat Christian Smith to death. Smith, 20, was found in his home in the 2100 block of Hancock Street in Gretna. The hammer was still embedded in his skull.

Carter fled with the Smith’s car and his property, including a mobile phone. Indicted for first-degree murder, he pleaded guilty in 1996 to manslaughter and was sentenced to 40 years in prison. He was paroled in 2014.

The jury, which heard evidence about the 1994 homicide, deliberated less than 50 minutes in finding Carter guilty as charged of the armed robbery. Judge Ray Steib of the 24th Judicial District Court is scheduled to sentence Carter on Aug. 21.

Assistant District Attorneys Laura Schneidau and Blaine Moncrief prosecuted the case.