Feb 282013

A Sixth District task force sergeant stands outside the crime scene marked off at the corner of Camp and Delachaise streets, where a resident was shot in the chest during a carjacking Oct. 2, 2012. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Robert Morris)

Byron J. Johnson (via opcso.org)

After a nearly five-month investigation, police have arrested a 20-year-old “possible career criminal” on attempted murder and robbery charges in the October shooting and carjacking of a well-known attorney who lived on the edge of the Garden District, authorities said Thursday afternoon.

Byron Johnson is accused of being one of three people who shot Sandy Kaynor in his driveway near Camp and Delachaise streets, stole several belongings from inside the home while his wife and daughter were inside, and finally stole his SUV, according to a NOPD news release. Forensic analysis of physical evidence was central to the investigation, police said, and the arrests of Johnson’s alleged accomplices are “imminent.”

NOPD Superintendent Ronal Serpas noted Johnson’s lengthy criminal record, including an arrest on a weapons charge a month prior to the Kaynor shooting. For more details, see the full news release below.

A New Orleans East man is in custody today, booked in the carjacking and attempted murder of an Uptown man last October.

Sixth District detectives arrested 20-year-old Byron Johnson last night at his residence in the 8800-block of Gervais Street in connection with the shooting of a 51-year-old man as he sat in his driveway in the 3400-block of Camp Street the night of October 2nd. As the victim lie bleeding on the ground from a gunshot wound to the chest, detectives believe Johnson and two others entered the victim’s house, and stole several of his and his wife’s belongings. The group also took the victim’s keys and made off in his Cadillac.

Because no eye witnesses have come forward, detectives in this case headed by Detective Kristen Krzemieniecki, have been relying on forensic and physical evidence to link Johnson to the crimes. Several of the victims’ belongings had been recovered from Johnson’s residence soon after the crime was committed last October.

Johnson is booked with Attempted First Degree Murder, Aggravated Burglary, Armed Robbery, Possession of Stolen Property, and Theft of an Automobile. Other arrests in this case are imminent.

Johnson had 12 felony arrests, 10 misdemeanor arrests and was listed as a possible career criminal. He was on probation for Illegal Carrying of a Weapon (2nd offense) from June 2011 through December 2012. A more detailed account of Johnson’s criminal record is below.

“This suspect’s record, with multiple illegal firearm charges — including his arrest just last September, which was just a month before the Camp Street shooting — is nothing less than reprehensible, and the people of New Orleans deserve better,” said Superintendent Ronal Serpas.

“I was stunned to learn that Johnson was on probation for a second Illegal Use of a Weapon charge at the time he allegedly attacked this man.”

“No one should escape the consequences of the criminal justice system enough times to be labeled as a ‘possible career criminal.’ I’ve been assured that it’s only a matter of time before this suspect’s accomplices in this disturbing crime are picked up.”

“I want to thank Detective Krzemieniecki and her team for their dedication to clearing this case. And, as always, we must thank State Police Crime Lab technicians for always being there to assist us in getting evidence tested and helping us solidify arrests”, Serpas said.

“Our detectives also are appreciative of the teamwork provided by the Orleans District Attorney’s Office, particularly the contribution of First Assistant Graymond Martin.”

In May 2012, Johnson was arrested for Felon with a Firearm, Illegal Carrying of a Weapon and Illegal Carrying of a Weapon in Possession of a Controlled Dangerous Substance. All charges were refused.

In July 2011, Johnson was arrested for Possession of Stolen Property and Armed Robbery. All charges were refused.

In May of 2011, Johnson was arrested for Illegal Carrying of a Weapon and Felon with a Firearm.

-The charge for Felon with a Firearm was refused.
-Johnson pled guilty for Illegal Carrying of a Weapon (2nd conviction)
-18 months suspended sentence
-18 months active probation

In March 2010, Johnson was arrested for Illegal Carrying of Weapons and Illegal Possession of Stolen Firearms.

-The charge for Illegal Possession of Stolen Firearms was refused.
-Johnson was found guilty for Illegal Carrying of a Weapon
-Six months suspended sentence
-Serve 3 weekends in Parish Prison

In June 2009, Johnson was arrested for Resisting an Officer, Illegal Carrying of Weapons, Possession of Stolen Property and Simple Burglary.

Johnson also has past arrests for Flight from an Officer, Simple Burglary, Unauthorized Use of a Moveable, Possession of Stolen Property, Traffic Violations, Attachments, Warrants, Probation Violation and Theft of an Auto.

  • Why are so many charges refused here? Why?

    • Victims refuse to testify in court. Witnesses disappear. Defense witnesses (mothers and girlfriends mainly) show up and openly lie in court to cast doubt on the State’s case. Judges are sometimes overly protective of many of the accused if they perceive them as “young men with a chance to turn their lives around” and they reduce or drop the bonds on them and routinely find no probable cause for arrest. The D.A. case screeners may refuse to go forward with cases if they feel they can’t win with the evidence provided. At one time, more than 50% of the cases NOPD sent up (most of those were for drug possession) were refused for one reason or another by the case screeners. It has gotten a lot better since those days because NOPD officers are better trained and have been writing more complete reports and conducting better investigations on all felony cases.

  • Let’s dispense with the fallacy of political correctness. This was a hate crime just like the rape on Eighth street. There are a lot of people in our neighborhood who want revenge, and we deserve it.

  • Joy Van Buskirk

    As a former officer and member of Victims and Citizens Against Crime, I wish that the organization was functional again. Under the leadership of Sandy Krasnoff, a former policeman and attorney, who has since expired, we singlehandedly changed the Criminal Justice System in this state. He and I spent seven years changing criminal statues, revising the victim rights legislation, passing truth in sentencing requiring violent criminal felons to serve 85% of their sentences, a state wide hotline for victims to check on whereabouts of those that committed crimes against them, a victim assistance coordinator in every DA’s office to assist victims through the Criminal Justice System, the gubernatorial appointment of a victim or victim’s family member to the Pardon and Parole Boards, and so on. We worked our tails off to make this state a better place for people to live. The problem in New Orleans is that no one cares about Criminal Court Judge’s races, and only 5 to 10 percent of the voters even care to vote in those races. Someone in this city should take on the role of creating a committee or task force to interview all that run for these positions, and then identify the candidate that best reflects the goal to change how young punks are dealt with today. VCAC interviewed candidates for Criminal Court Judge’s elections, and then passed on that information to the public. It takes time and commitment, but the citizens can rise up, and choose the best candidates for this important office. I know, been there done that. People can make a difference.

  • llmaumus22@yahoo.com

    damn them all to hell-ruined a good man’s life. and career criminals-a joke, they should still be in jail for past crimes. do you wait until they kill or nearly kill before locking them up?

  • disqus_VHIkaaWwmj

    Wonder who the judge was who gave him a suspended sentence with his previous record and if he feels any responsibility for the shooting of Sandy.