Jul 042013

Milton Bangham (via opcso.org)

A 31-year-old man described as a “possible career criminal” turned himself in Wednesday to face a murder charge in Sunday’s shooting death of a 14-year-old boy in front of a Central City home, New Orleans police said.

Milton Bangham was identified within 24 hours because of the large number of witnesses to the shooting of Edward Barton, police said in a news release. Bangham’s record of 10 felony arrests and 40 misdemeanor arrests includes a number of gun and drug charges, the release states:

Shortly after 1 this afternoon, members of NOPD’s Special Operations Division arrested a Central City man accused of gunning down a 14-year-old boy as he sat on front porch steps last Sunday evening. It happened around 6pm, and there were many witnesses.

The lawyer representing 31-year-old Milton Bangham called NOPD’s Homicide division from his downtown office today to say Bangham was ready to turn himself in for killing Edward Barton last Sunday in the 1900-block of Sixth Street. Barton was a few weeks shy of his fifteenth birthday.

After conducting many interviews, detectives, headed up by lead Detective Darrell Doucette, were able to identify Bangham as the gunman within 24 hours of the killing. They quickly acquired a warrant for his arrest, and it was announced today that he was wanted for the teenager’s murder. After being taken to Central Lock-Up, Bangham was booked with Second Degree Murder.

Milton Bangham is listed as a possible career criminal and is currently on parole for Possession with the Intent to Distribute Cocaine until August 2013. Bangham has previously been on parole for Possession of Cocaine and Meth and on probation for Possession of Ecstasy and Crack. He has 10 felony arrests, 40 misdemeanor arrests, 1 city arrest, and 1 traffic arrest. Previous arrests include Illegal Firearms During a Crime, Illegal Use of a Weapon, Simple Robbery, Possession of Narcotics, Possession of Crack Cocaine, Possession of Ecstasy, Possession of Marijuana, Marijuana Distribution, Simple Battery, Unauthorized Entry of an Inhabited Dwelling, Assault, Resisting/Obstructing an Officer, Battery, Domestic Abuse Battery, Criminal Trespass, Assault, Disturbing the Peace, Misrepresentation of Name/Age/Address, Cursing a Fireman, Open Container, warrants, attachments and traffic violations.

“The fact that this suspect, who is labeled a ‘possible career criminal’ in the justice system, was on our streets last weekend, and had the opportunity to kill a child, is knowledge that is beyond comprehension to me, and begs the question: What are the consequences of committing violent crimes in New Orleans?” said Superintendent Ronal Serpas.

“I want to commend Detective Doucette and the other officers working this case for identifying the suspect and obtaining an arrest warrant so swiftly. This man knew we were after him, and realized he had no choice but to turn himself in”, Serpas said.

“And we want to thank the community- again- for standing with their police department, and helping us identify this gunman. We believe this man viciously killed a boy, and his arrest proves that this department and this community will stand as one to fight violent criminals.”

Bangham had previously argued with the teen over the quality of a “frozen cup” sold by a mutual acquaintance in the neighborhood, a quarrel Barton’s mother believes led to the shooting, reports Helen Freund of The Times-Picayune.

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