West Bank men convicted of murder, armed robberies in 2015 crime spree

Two West Bank men were convicted as charged Friday night (Sept. 8) for committing a violent, month-long crime spree in late 2015 that left one man dead and another partially paralyzed.

Emmett Garrison IV, 18, of Marrero, and Corey Flag, 25, of Gretna, were convicted of all charges listed in the 10-count bill of indictment. The charges:

  • Count 1, second-degree murder. Garrison and Flag killed Bruce Lutcher Sr., 34, while robbing him outside his apartment in the 1600 block of Ute Drive in Harvey on Nov. 23, 2015.
  • Count 2, conspiracy to commit armed robbery. Garrison and Flag conspired to commit a string of armed robberies that occurred during the crime spree.
  • Count 3, attempted armed robbery. Garrison and Flag attempted to rob a 26-year-old Hispanic man outside his apartment in the 2900 block of South Monterey Court, in Terrytown. This crime happened approximately 5:30 p.m., on Dec. 11, 2015, and was the first of three robbery attempts occurring within a one-hour span. They left this robbery empty handed.
  • Count 4, illegal discharge of a firearm. Flag fired a 9mm semiautomatic pistol at the victim of the attempted robbery in Count 3. The victim was not injured.
  • Count 5, attempted armed robbery. Flag and Garrison attempted to rob a 25-year-old Hispanic man outside his apartment in the 1900 block of Faith Place, in Terrytown. This crime happened approximately 6:05 p.m.
  • Count 6, attempted second-degree murder. Garrison then shot the victim in Count 5. The bullet severed victim’s spinal cord, leaving him wheelchair-bound for the rest of his life. Garrison and Flag obtained nothing of value from this victim.
  • Count 7, armed robbery. Garrison and Flag then robbed a 54-year-old Hispanic man outside his apartment in the 1500 block of Abbey Road in Harvey. That crime happened approximately 6:30 p.m.
  • Count 8, illegal discharge of a firearm. Garrison shot at the victim in Count 7, after the victim attempted to follow the robbers. The victim was not injured but lost more than $400 in cash and his cell phone in the robbery.
  • Count 9, convicted felon in possession of a firearm. Flag was prohibited from possessing guns because of a 2011 conviction of possession of cocaine, for which he was sentenced to four years in prison.
  • Count 10, illegal discharge of a firearm. Garrison and Flag were shooters in a Dec. 9, 2015, drive-by shooting in Marrero’s Acre Road public housing development.

In addition to gathering statements from witnesses, the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office in part tied Garrison and Flag to the crimes through the numerous spent bullet casings that deputies gathered at seven separate crime scenes. Investigators linked two 9mm semiautomatic pistols to the crimes with help from the National Integrated Ballistics Information Network, or NIBIN, a database maintained by the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

The jury of six women and six men deliberated two hours in reaching their unanimous verdicts on all counts. Flag and Garrison lashed out in court as the verdicts were announced, cursing and protesting as deputies escorted them out of the courtroom.

Judge John Molaison of the 24th Judicial District Court is scheduled to sentence Flag and Garrison on Thursday (Sept. 14).

Second-degree murder carries a sentence of mandatory life in prison, a punishment Flag faces. However, Garrison will be sentenced for the murder at a later date.

Because he was 17 years old at the time he committed the crimes, Judge Molaison must hold a sentencing hearing before deciding whether Garrison could be parole eligible after 25 years of a life sentence. A hearing date was not set.

Assistant District Attorneys Doug Freese and Rachel Africk prosecuted the case.

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