Aug 292016
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

It’s almost as though Terrebonne Parish Sheriff Jerry Larpenter were spat out of central casting.  The portly, arrogant, hot-headed lawman is the archetype of the corrupt Southern sheriff.  “You ain’t from ‘round here, boy,” might as well be tattooed on his forehead.

Playing to form, Larpenter doesn’t appreciate being criticized.  His thin skin was certainly on display when a local muckraking blog called “Exposedat” suggested that Larpenter had misused public funds due to a conflict of interest. Continue reading »

Jul 262016
 
Attorney Michael Whitaker describes the beginning of mediation in 215 claims against the Sewerage & Water Board over damages allegedly caused by the SELA drainage projects. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Attorney Michael Whitaker describes the beginning of mediation in 215 claims against the Sewerage & Water Board over damages allegedly caused by the SELA drainage projects. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

A retired federal judge has been appointed to mediate $86 million in damage claims from property damage from the ongoing SELA drainage projects along four major Uptown corridors, attorneys announced Monday. Continue reading »

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Jun 092016
 
Danae Columbus

Danae Columbus

The race to replace retiring 4th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Max Tobias is already heating up with three lower court judges – Criminal Court Judge Laurie White and Civil District Court Judges Tiffany Chase and Regina Bartholomew Woods – tossing their hats in the ring. Attorney Kevin Guillory who previously ran for a Criminal Court judgeship is also campaigning. Continue reading »

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Mar 012016
 
Dead Man Walking: The Opera symposium

(via Loyola University College of Law)

The Loyola University College of Law will be hosting a free symposium this Thursday, March 3, about the Dead Man Walking opera that is premiering in Louisiana on Friday, March 4, at the Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts. The symposium’s panelists will feature Dead Man Walking: An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty author Sister Helen Prejean and New Orleans Opera General & Artistic Director Robert Lyall. Continue reading »

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Feb 262016
 
The "SC" icons refer to simple rapes; the gray mask icons represent burglaries. (map via NOPD)

The “SC” icons refer to simple rapes; the gray mask icons represent burglaries. (map via NOPD)

Oliver Jerde (via opcso.org)

Oliver Jerde (via opcso.org)

The man charged in a series of home-invasions last month in the university area — and a suspect in two sexual assaults — has been removed from electronic monitoring and allowed to leave the state, according to court records. Continue reading »

Dec 072015
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

Whenever anybody engages me on the issue of self-defense, my mind always wanders to the case of Warren v. District of Columbia.

That case began on the morning of March 16, 1975, when two men broke down the back door of a rooming house on Lamont Street in Washington, D.C. The intruders soon encountered Miriam Douglas, a woman who lived on the second floor with her four-year-old daughter. Continue reading »

Oct 152015
 

Allan Katz and Danae Columbus

When President Obama issued his controversial executive order which would give work permits and protection from deportation to almost four million unauthorized immigrants — including an estimated 100,000 living in Louisiana — he never expected his dream to get derailed by Republican-appointed federal judges at the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeal in New Orleans. Continue reading »

Aug 242015
 
Black Lives Matter Katrina memorial

(via Ashé Cultural Center)

 

The Ashé Cultural Arts Center will be hosting “Forum: 10 Years Later: We’re Still Recovering- Black Lives Matter” this Thursday, August 27, in order to commemorate ten years since Hurricane Katrina. The event is free to the public and will feature Alicia Garza, a coufounder of #BlackLivesMatter. The event will focus on the reform to ultimately end the school-to-prison pipeline. Continue reading »

Aug 202015
 
A section of the construction site on Prytania Street, photographed in February 25. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

A section of the construction site on Prytania Street, photographed in February 25. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Nearly 150 property owners have now joined the lawsuit seeking damages from the Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans related to the construction of major drainage canals through the Uptown area, while the agency is now casting blame for the problems on two of the contractors on the projects, legal documents show.

“Ten years after Katrina, the Plaintiffs are horrified to now find their homes and businesses, often newly renovated or refurbished, in the midst of another disaster,” the property owners’ attorney wrote in a recent court document. “…Delayed years beyond original dates of completion, their homes and neighborhoods are being wrecked by the project. They are being forced to live in damaged homes and pay for their own repairs, for years and years with no end in sight.” Continue reading »

Jul 312015
 
McKinley "Mac" Phipps, Jr. at Elayn Hunt Correctional Facility, 2015. Mac is currently serving a 30-year sentence for manslaughter, a crime for which

McKinley “Mac” Phipps, Jr. at Elayn Hunt Correctional Facility, 2015. Mac is currently serving a 30-year sentence for manslaughter, a crime for which he maintains his innocence. (photo courtesy of Angelique Christina)

Tyree Worthy

Tyree C. Worthy

When I graduated from Loyola three years ago, I had plenty of people to thank: professors, advisors, friends and close family — the usual. There was one unlikely person who actually wasn’t there during my school days at all but deserved as much thanks as anyone: my cousin, McKinley “Mac” Phipps Jr., a well-known New Orleans rapper who has been incarcerated since I was 10, and I realized I needed to write him and tell him how much of a motivational force he had become in my life.

Mac is currently serving a 30-year sentence for manslaughter, a crime for which he maintains his innocence. But now, amid serious questions about the testimony that convicted him under former St. Tammany Parish District Attorney Walter Reed, Mac’s legal team is actively working to have him released much sooner than that, according to a recent report from The Advocate’s Sara Pagones. Continue reading »

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Jun 152015
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

One of the chief headaches one gets from monitoring the news cycle relates to the fact that it isn’t self-correcting.  A tiny seed of disinformation grows to become a sturdy tree of conventional wisdom.

This is what happened with the so-called “Stand Your Ground” (SYG) laws following the shooting of Treyvon Martin in Florida by George Zimmerman.  Most recently, it was criticized in a recent column by Jarvis DeBerry after being invoked by Algiers Pastor W.L.T. Littleton, who is accused of shooting a fleeing copper thief in the back of the head. Continue reading »

Jun 102015
 
A crack is visible in a foundation that attorney Michael Whitaker says is only 9 years old in the 2500 block of Napoleon Avenue. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

A crack is visible in a foundation that attorney Michael Whitaker says is only 9 years old in the 2500 block of Napoleon Avenue. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Attorney Michael Whitaker (left) listens as the Rev. Tom Watson describes damage to Watson Memorial Teaching Ministries on Napoleon Avenue during a news conference Wednesday morning. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Attorney Michael Whitaker (left) listens as the Rev. Tom Watson describes damage to Watson Memorial Teaching Ministries on Napoleon Avenue during a news conference Wednesday morning. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

A total of 74 plaintiffs have now joined the lawsuit alleging that their homes have been damaged by construction of new drainage canals under major thoroughfares through Uptown New Orleans, but their attorney says the costs of repairing these houses is already built into the project and won’t increase the costs for the Sewerage & Water Board. Continue reading »

Jun 012015
 
Owen Courrèges

Owen Courrèges

Plea bargaining is one of the hallmarks of an efficient criminal justice system. The prosecutor saves time and effort. The city collects a fine and court costs. The defendant receives a break on the offense charged. In theory, everybody is happy.

Alas, Mayor Landrieu is apparently not happy. His administration has decided to end the process in traffic court. Continue reading »

May 142015
 
Tall tarps line both sides of Prytania Street, seen from Nashville Avenue. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Construction closes Prytania Street at Nashville Avenue, photographed in February. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Robert Morris)

A group of Uptown property owners — three families to start, but expected to number in the hundreds as the case grows — filed suit this week against the Sewerage & Water Board of New Orleans, seeking compensation for damage to their homes from proximity to the installation of major new drainage canals along some of Uptown’s largest thoroughfares, their attorney said. Continue reading »

Apr 302015
 
Police vehicles surround Dat Dog on Freret Street and neighbors and employees talk outside after a robbery attempt and shooting inside the business on Dec. 17, 2012. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Police vehicles surround Dat Dog on Freret Street and neighbors and employees talk outside after a robbery attempt and shooting inside the business on Dec. 17, 2012. (Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com)

Nathaniel Jones (via opcso.org)

Nathaniel Jones (via opcso.org)

A 22-year-old man accepted a 25-year prison sentence Wednesday after pleading guilty to shooting a Dat Dog employee during robbery attempt at the popular Freret Street restaurant in late 2012, court documents show. Continue reading »

Apr 012015
 

Milton Bangham (via opcso.org)

Milton Bangham (via opcso.org)

A 34-year-old man will spend more than three decades in jail after pleading guilty Tuesday to manslaughter in a 2013 shooting that killed a 14-year-old boy for “no apparent reason” just steps away from a late-afternoon party in Central City, authorities said. Continue reading »

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Mar 082015
 

Bernard Noble, a 49-year-old father of seven children, is serving a 13-year sentence after an arrest for about two joints’ worth of marijuana, and Broadmoor residents rallied with New Orleans City Councilwoman Susan Guidry on Saturday on behalf of his release, according to a report by our partners at WWL-TV. Noble’s lengthy sentence is the result of habitual-offender enhancements on drug charges dating back to the 1990s, even though Orleans judges had urged a lower sentence, rally organizers say.

Mar 052015
 

A NOPD officer stretches crime-scene tape across the South Broad overpass during a homicide investigation on Friday, Feb. 27. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Robert Morris)

Last Friday’s fatal shooting on South Broad Street that closed the overpass and wounded a man in front of the Orleans Parish courthouse was preceded by the sentencing of the suspect’s nephew to life in prison in a separate murder case, according to our report at Mid-City Messenger. Continue reading »

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Feb 062015
 
New Orleans police take a trash can into evidence (after the body of a woman found in it was removed) from an alleyway off Danneel Street on Nov. 26. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Robert Morris)

New Orleans police take a trash can into evidence (after the body of a woman found in it was removed) from an alleyway off Danneel Street on Nov. 26. (UptownMessenger.com file photo by Robert Morris)

Evangelisto Ramos (via opcso.org)

Evangelisto Ramos (via opcso.org)

Offshore worker Evangelisto Ramos told police back in December that he had been with Trinece Fedison the night before her body was discovered in an out-of-place trash can in Central City, so they knew to expect his DNA on her body.

But when laboratory testing confirmed that the 42-year-old man’s DNA was also on the outside of the trash can, police secured a warrant on a murder charge and arrested him from Port Fourchon on Wednesday night. Continue reading »

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