Four alleged members of the Byrd Gang were charged under the Louisiana Racketeering Act and in other crimes related to a violent drug-trafficking enterprise based in Central City, District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office announced on Monday. An Orleans Parish special grand jury on Oct. 23 handed up a 16-count indictment charging Tyrone “Six” Bovia, Chance “Doona” Skipper, James “Poo” Alexander and Randy “Tokey Hefner” Calvin with racketeering. In Louisiana, racketeering is punishable in Louisiana by a prison sentence of up to 50 years. The announcement of the indictment was delayed to give law enforcement officers a reduced-risk opportunity to arrest the suspects.
A New Orleans man has been indicted for murder in connection with an August killing inside a home in the city’s Dixon neighborhood, District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office announced on Thursday. Aaron “Yao” Lawrence was charged with the second-degree murder of 41-year-old Travis Smith, obstruction of justice in a homicide investigation, and with being a felon in possession of a firearm, in the three-count indictment handed up by an Orleans Parish grand jury. Lawrence, 33, faces a mandatory lifetime prison term if convicted of murder. He also faces up to 40 years in state prison if found guilty of the obstruction count, and 10-15 years if convicted of the firearms offense. Those penalties ultimately could be enhanced, based upon Lawrence’s extensive record of felony narcotics possession and distribution convictions.
The NOPD arrested three suspects on Tuesday, Oct. 8, in multiple narcotics and firearms violations. The arrests occurred in the 8700 block of Green Street. Following up on a Crimestoppers tip, Second District Task Force officers initiated surveillance on the location in the Leonidas neighborhood. Following surveillance and a subsequent investigation, officers obtained a search warrant.
The city of New Orleans has released a statement on the removal of hazardous materials in Gert Town about two weeks week after about 1,000 Gert Town neighbors filed a class-action suit against the city, according to media reports. WWL-TV first reported on the hazardous waste early in June. Later in the month, neighbors filed a suit claiming the city knew about the materials and did nothing to notify the neighborhood. Crews in hazmat suits dug up the material without alerting residents to its dangers, the neighbors claim. The materials were below the road surface on Lowerline Street and Coolidge Place.
A 16-year-old juvenile accused of fatally shooting a 14-year-old boy in Hollygrove in February was indicted Thursday, District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office announced. The teenager was charged with the second-degree murder of JaMichael Frith in the indictment handed up by an Orleans Parish grand jury. If convicted of the murder, he would face a mandatory lifetime prison sentence, but with the possibility of parole eligibility after 25 years. New Orleans police said Frith was found shot to death on the porch of a home in the 8400 block of Oleander Street, around 12:50 a.m. on Feb. 28.
A man accused of bludgeoning another man to death with a rock outside a Jackson Avenue church in February has been indicted for muder, District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office announced Thursday. Robert Froeba was charged with obstruction of justice in a homicide investigation and with the second-degree murder of 30-year-old Jose Hernandez in the two-count indictment handed up by an Orleans Parish grand jury. Froeba, 50, faces a mandatory lifetime prison sentence if convicted of the murder, and up to 40 years if found guilty of the obstruction count. New Orleans police said Hernandez was found dead around 8:20 a.m. on Feb. 27.
Richard Sansbury, the first of two men arrested for Monday’s armed robbery and shootout that left a New Orleans police officer wounded at an Uptown CVS drug store, made his first appearance in Orleans Parish Magistrate Court on Tuesday morning. Booked with armed robbery with a firearm, two counts of false imprisonment with a weapon, and three counts of attempted first-degree murder of a police officer, Stansbury had a bond of $1.15 million set by Orleans Parish Magistrate Judge Harry Cantrell. Sansbury remains in police custody. “I commend Judge Cantrell for … seeing this defendant for what he is: a dangerous, violent offender willing to shoot our police officers, who has no business freely walking our streets,” District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro said.
Sophie B. Wright Charter School filed a motion Monday, May 6, to move a case filed by one its students to federal court. The school’s attorney, Tracie Washington, filed notice as the student, her parents, lawyer and other supporters were set for a hearing at the Orleans Civil District Court. Lyric Fernandez, an 18-year-old senior, alleged in the April 26 complaint that the Uptown public charter school denied her due process when it determined its punishment for a senior prank. The school had suspended about 30 students for five days after a water fight injured a teacher and another student, according to a statement from the school. Sophie B. Wright administration officials also revoked their senior privileges, such as walking for graduation, senior prom and senior picnic.
George Short was sentenced to 20 years last week for the killing of a man in Central City in 2014. Short, 43, averted his scheduled murder trial and potential life sentence on Feb. 20 by entering into a plea agreement as potential jurors lined up outside the courtroom of Criminal District Judge Arthur Hunter, District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office reported. Under the terms of the agreement, Short pleaded guilty to an amended charge of manslaughter, two counts of illegal possession of a firearm by a felon, and one count of introducing contraband into a corrections facility. On Feb.
In a ruling issued Friday, Judge Nakisha Ervin-Knott awarded nearly three-quarters of a million dollars ($770,435) to 10 homeowners for damages resulting from the Southeast Louisiana Urban Drainage Project construction. The Sewerage & Water Board is responsible for the damage, the judge ruled. The trial is the third for Uptown homeowners suing S&WB for construction and vibration damage. S&WB must pay the homeowners’ attorneys’ fees and costs, pushing the award to over $1 million, according to plaintiff attorney Michael Whitaker. So far 25 cases have been litigated with 275 more to go.