Milton Bangham, 34, pleaded guilty to a single count of manslaughter in the June 30, 2013, shooting of 14-year-old Edward Barton, according to a news release from the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s office. Bangham, a convicted drug dealer, appeared to be selling drugs prior to the shooting, and prosecutors said only two witnesses cooperated with the case, despite the large crowd at the party nearby.
For details, see the the full news release from Assistant Christoper Bowman below:
District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office convicted Milton Bangham, 34, early Tuesday afternoon. With a jury waiting outside and selection about to begin, the defendant pled guilty to one count of manslaughter. Pursuant to the plea agreement, the defendant received a prison sentence of 34 years.
In the daylight hours of June 30, 2013, the defendant appeared to be dealing narcotics in the 1900 block of Sixth Street in Central City. A block party with a DJ was being held in the same block. The victim, Edward Barton, was sitting on a stoop near the defendant. For no apparent reason, the defendant took out a 40 caliber handgun and unleashed a hail of gunfire on the victim.
After firing many shots, the defendant began to flee, but returned when he realized that the victim was still moving. He then fired several more shots hitting the victim in the head and killing him. According to the coroner’s report the victim was shot ten times. While this occurred in daylight hours on a crowded block of people attending a party, only two witnesses came forward and cooperated with law enforcement authorities.
Assistant District Attorneys Inga Petrovich and Taylor Anthony prosecuted the case.
In response to the conviction, District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro stated, “While any senseless murder on the streets of this city is a tragedy, the real tragedy here was that this occurred on a crowded street and only two people came forward to assist law enforcement authorities. The epidemic of violent crime in this city will not end until we all stand tall and not just with our words but with our actions as well – say enough is enough.”
The defendant, who had two prior felony convictions related to the trafficking of illegal narcotics as well as multiple marijuana convictions, was sentenced to a term of imprisonment of 34 years.