Via a news release from District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office:
Late Wednesday night, a jury found Durrelle Bowens guilty of manslaughter. On March 24, 2011, the defendant executed Toriano “Tito” Livas at the corner of South Derbigny and Josephine in Central City. The defendant and his brother, who were engaged in an ongoing dispute with Livas, instigated a physical altercation with the victim as he was leaving a body shop in the neighborhood.
The victim’s friends, who witnessed the physical altercation, attempted to come to the aid of the victim. The defendant then pulled a handgun and began to shoot the victim. Struggling from the ground, the defendant retreated to his vehicle to retrieve his gun. As the victim lay on the ground pleading for his life, the defendant reloaded his semiautomatic pistol with a spare clip and exhausted his ammunition – executing the victim. In total, the defendant fired seventeen rounds of ammunition.
A schoolteacher, who was unaffiliated with either the victim or the defendant, witnessed the execution. At trial, she testified, “It felt like the gunshots went on forever.”
Assistant District Attorneys James Myers and Andre Gaudin prosecuted the case.
In response to this conviction, District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro stated, “When witnesses are willing to come forward and tell the jury what they saw, our effectiveness in the courtroom increases exponentially. My office, with the assistance of Judge White, was able to bring this matter to trial less than a year after the crime, which is evidence of the existence of an efficient and effective criminal justice system.”
The defendant will be sentenced on February 1, 2012. Under Louisiana law, the defendant can receive a prison sentence of up to 40 years.