Dec 042014
 

Austin L. Diven (via opcso.org)

Austin L. Diven (via opcso.org)

A man whose wild attempt to break into a Coliseum Square home drew a warning blast from the homeowner’s shotgun in October is now wanted on a charge of attempted home invasion, after prosecutors upgraded his charges and he failed to show up to court this week, court documents show. Continue reading »

Oct 232014
 

Judge J. Skelly Wright

Loyola University New Orleans is holding a memorial Friday in honor of 1934 graduate, Judge J. Skelly Wright, a New Orleans native who issued the order to desegregate the New Orleans public schools in the 1950′s and was appointed to the D.C. federal circuit court of appeals by President Kennedy. In addition to the memorial event, Loyola is installing a memorial to Judge Wright in front their law school and establishing a scholarship in his name. Continue reading »

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Oct 222014
 
Graham Bosworth (from left), Judge Frank Marullo, Marie Williams, Paul Sens and Byron C. Williams listen to moderator Lee Zurik during Wednesday's voters' forum at Touro Synagogue. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Graham Bosworth (from left), Judge Frank Marullo, Marie Williams, Paul Sens and Byron C. Williams listen to moderator Lee Zurik during Wednesday’s voters’ forum at Touro Synagogue. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Despite the drama that has surrounded the race for incumbent Judge Frank Marullo’s seat, the election itself may serve as a referendum on the operations of the Orleans Parish Courthouse, which Marullo defended as both efficient and transparent against criticisms from challengers Graham Bosworth and Marie Williams in a voters’ forum Wednesday night. Continue reading »

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Oct 212014
 

court watch top

Ten candidates for three open judicial seats in the Nov. 4 election have confirmed their attendance at Wednesday night’s forum at Touro Synagogue hosted by an array of community groups including the New Orleans Police and Justice Foundation, CrimeStoppers, the Urban League, the Young Leadership Council, Citizens for 1 Greater New Orleans, the League Of Women Voters and more. Continue reading »

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Sep 302014
 

Rendell Brown (via opcso.org)

Rendell Brown (via opcso.org)

Shane Hughes (via opcso.org)

Shane Hughes (via opcso.org)

Shane Hughes and Rendell Brown, both 16, have been charged with first-degree murder in the Sept. 22 slaying of Domino’s Pizza driver Richard Yeager in Mid-City and face charges in the carjacking of a woman on Newcomb Boulevard, and will be tried as adults in state court after their cases were transferred out of juvenile court Monday, according to reports. Continue reading »

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Sep 292014
 
Judicial candidates Marie Williams, Graham Bosworth and Byron C. Williams participate in a candidates' forum sponsored by the Home Defense Foundation of New Orleans. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Judicial candidates Marie Williams, Graham Bosworth and Byron C. Williams participate in a candidates’ forum sponsored by the Home Defense Foundation of New Orleans. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Prosecutors are using Louisiana’s repeat-offender laws to create potential sentences so high for criminal defendants that they have no choice but to plead guilty, potentially depriving them of the right to a fair trial, three candidates for Criminal District Court agreed Monday night. Continue reading »

Aug 212014
 
Joseph Bouie, who is running for the state House of Representatives seat vacated by City Councilman Jared Brossett. (Photo by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Joseph Bouie, who is running for the state House of Representatives seat vacated by City Councilman Jared Brossett, reviews his paperwork with attorney Jennifer Medley. (Photo by Danae Columbus for UptownMessenger.com)

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

It’s always fun to hang around Criminal Court when candidates are qualifying for office, and yesterday was no exception. Although qualifying did not begin until 8 a.m., embattled judge Yolanda King entered the building at 7:15 to ensure first place in line.

Even though King arrived extra early, it took her three tries to get her domicile listed correctly on the sworn affidavit. Domicile is the ongoing problem that might yet land King in jail or at least unable to serve another term. Continue reading »

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Aug 142014
 

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

What trait did actor/comedian Robin Williams and many of New Orleans homeless share?  Mental illness.  Like a majority of the homeless in New Orleans, Williams battled periodic bouts of substance abuse and depression until he finally “silenced the demons that relentlessly targeted him” earlier this week, as the Associate Press put it.

The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that the rate of mental illness increases as boomers age. According to the Center for Disease Control, the suicide rate for adults -  aged 45 to 64 – increased 40% from 1999 to 2011. An analysis by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention found that the suicide rate for middle- to late-middle-aged adults is higher than any other age group. Continue reading »

Jul 312014
 

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

With fewer than 100 days until the mid-term Congressional and local elections, it’s no surprise that more than a few candidates and elected officials turned out Sunday for brunch and hobnobbing with Congressman Cedric Richmond.  While Richmond could face opposition again from Gary Landrieu, the mayor’s cousin who ran two years ago, Richmond is expected to be easily reelected.

In addition to Richmond, U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu and Congressman Steve Scalise (who represents only a small portion of Orleans Parish but it unstoppable as the new House Majority Whip), there are 41 additional races that candidates could qualify for. Because of difficulty raising money, most incumbents will not draw opponents. On top of those races, we should add various millage items and other local initiatives that will appear on the November ballot. Continue reading »

Jun 172014
 
A police officer walks two grieving family members, leaning on one another for support, past the scattered shell casings to their Annunciation Street home after the slaying of Darnell Brown in April 2012. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Robert Morris)

A police officer walks two grieving family members, leaning on one another for support, past the scattered shell casings to their Annunciation Street home after the slaying of Darnell Brown in April 2012. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Robert Morris)

Ronald "Remo" Thompson (via opcso.org)

Ronald “Remo” Thompson (via opcso.org)

Ronald “Remo” Thompson, 22, was indicted last week on a charge of second-degree murder in the April 2012 killing of Darnell Brown in the 3800 block of Annunciation Street, and four other men — Ronald “Rozay” Brooks, 19, Demond “Lil-D” Sandifer, 18, Joshua “Josh” Pittman, 28, and Dejuan “Baby Ross” Williams, 19 — were charged with conspiracy to commit the murder, according to a report by Naomi Martin of The Times Picayune. Continue reading »

Jun 102014
 

James Johnson (via opcso.org)

Aggravated rape and other charges against a man accused of assaulting a woman in her Hickory Street house amid a rash of Carrollton-area home invasions were supported by the evidence collected at the time, a judge ruled Tuesday, allowing a case to proceed that could potentially jail the suspect for life.

In a hearing Tuesday, Magistrate Judge Harry Cantrell found that detectives had probable cause to charge James Johnson, 21, with aggravated rape, armed robbery, aggravated burglary and false imprisonment in connection with the April 9 attack on a woman in her Hickory Street home. Cantrell also upheld a separate set of charges of aggravated aggravated assault, armed robbery, sexual battery and simple kidnapping against Johnson in a April 1 attack on a woman outside her home on Cleveland Avenue in Mid-City, but the outcome of a third case against him — an April 4 home-invasion on Panola Street — remains pending. Continue reading »

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Apr 302014
 
Robert D. Steward (via opcso.org)

Robert D. Steward (via opcso.org)

A convicted drug dealer received 15 years in prison this week for possession of a gun following an April 2013 foot chase in the B.W. Cooper area of Central City, and his co-defendant was sentenced to seven years after agreeing to testify in the same case, New Orleans prosecutors said. Continue reading »

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Apr 232014
 

Niguel Veal, the 17-year-old freshman Tulane football recruit arrested in last week’s sexual assault in a dorm room, made a brief court appearance Wednesday on his simple-rape charge, according to a report by our partners at WWL-TV. Veal is free on a $20,000 bond but suspended from the football team, and his attorney says the allegations are a misunderstanding.

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