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Driver dies after Causeway crash, and other area crime news

Photo Provided by St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office -- Authorities work the scene where a vehicle traveling South on the Causeway left the travel lane and flipped over the railing around 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 23, 2014.  Deputies with the Sheriff’s marine division searched the area in boats and located the vehicle a short time later near the draw bridge.  The driver, believed to be the lone occupant, was still in the vehicle when it was recovered.  Fire District 4 personnel extricated the body, which is being turned over to the St. Tammany Parish Coroner’s office for identification and family notification.

The body of a car crash victim was found Sunday inside a vehicle that went over the railing of the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway into the water, according to the St. Tammany Parish Sheriff’s Office. Divers with the Sheriff’s Office recovered the car Sunday afternoon. The driver, who… Continue reading →

Developer, neighbors counting on new homes to transform violent corner

Photo provided by Robert Morris, UptownMessenger.com -- Workers from Cutting Edge Renovations prepare the vacant lot at Saratoga and Foucher on Wednesday, Nov. 20, for the construction of two new houses by Pentek Homes.

Less than two months ago, the weeds in the vacant corner lot at Foucher and South Saratoga streets came to the shoulders of the police officers who gathered there for an anti-crime march held in response to one of the recent shooting deaths in the area. Today, the overgrowth is gone, replaced by construction workers preparing… Continue reading →

Focus in NOPD sex crimes scandal turns to supervision

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--NOPD Deputy Chief Arlinda Westbrook, of the Public Integrity Bureau, foreground right, looks at statistic of poor follow up of sex crime complaints by five NOPD detectives as at a press conference where New Orleans Assistant Inspector General of Investigations Howard Schwartz speaks next to Superintendent Michael Harrison at NOPD headquarters in New Orleans, La. Wednesday, Nov. 12, 2014.

If you dialed 911 to report a sex crime in New Orleans over the past three years, chances were pretty good it landed on the ink-free desk of Officer Derrick Williams. In that case, you still haven’t seen a police report detailing his investigation, because none exists. According to data from Inspector General Ed Quatrevaux’s office,… Continue reading →

JPSO deputy injured by drunk driver, and other area crime news

A Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office deputy was injured by a suspected drunk driver early Saturday morning in Metairie, Sheriff Newell Normand reported. Deputy Sean Williams was parked at North Turnbull Drive and Veterans Boulevard, where he was working a movie detail, when a drunk driver slammed… Continue reading →

Man dies in domestic shooting in N.O. East

A 50-year-old man was shot to death Friday night in New Orleans East, and New Orleans police say his 40-year-old wife fired the weapon. The man, identified as Steven Swanson, was shot multiple times about 8 p.m. Friday in the 5000 block of Coronado Drive, said Officer Frank Robertson, a spokesman for the New Orleans Police… Continue reading →

Man arrested for having gun on Tammany Trace, and other area police news

Phillip Picken

A Lacombe man with a gun was arrested after trying to gain entry into a building near St. Tammany Parish government headquarters Thursday, a parish spokesman said. Phillip Pickens, 35, was booked on several counts, including illegal carrying of a weapon, disturbing the peace,… Continue reading →

Texas woman lobs new allegations in wake of report on NOPD sex crime detectives

Advocate staff photo by JOHN SIMERMAN -- Attorney Gloria Allred, right, walks into the New Orleans Police 2nd District Station with a Texas couple who accuse the NOPD of dismissing the woman's claim of being raped by a hotel security guard during Mardi Gras this year.

She was bruised all over, the woman said. Her blood had soaked into the hotel mattress. But a week after the Texas woman reported that she was raped on Mardi Gras night and underwent a hospital exam, a New Orleans Police Department detective told her he was dropping the case. He had concluded the sex was… Continue reading →

Man with gun arrested on Tammany Trace

Phillip Pickens

A man with a gun was arrested after attempting to gain entry into a building at St. Tammany Parish government headquarters Thursday, a parish spokesman confirmed. The man, whose name was not released, attempted to enter the refurbished caboose that serves as headquarters for the Tammany Trace, an approximately 30-mile walking and jogging path along an old… Continue reading →

Trial for Bourbon Street shooter delayed to February

Trung T. Le

The trial of Trung Le, the only person arrested in this summer’s mass shooting on Bourbon Street, has been continued until Feb. 23. Le, 21, was scheduled to be tried Dec. 1 on one count of attempted murder and one count of manslaughter. Prosecutors moved for a continuance Friday, saying several of their witnesses wouldn’t be… Continue reading →

Gunman robs man on Royal Street, and other area crime news

Danette Colbert

New Orleans police are asking for the public’s assistance in identifying a suspect wanted in an armed robbery that occurred Nov. 10 in the 2600 block of Royal Street. A 59-year-old man and a 29-year-old woman were walking about 3:15 a.m. when they were approached by… Continue reading →

Man to stand trial in 2013 Metairie carjacking

Daryle Guillot

A man with the word “REDRUM,” a variant of “murder” backward, tattooed across his forehead will stand trial in Jefferson Parish for allegedly carjacking a woman last year in Metairie. Daryle Guillot, 38, is currently serving a 10-year sentence for attempting to rob a woman in New Orleans with a knife, but he will be tried… Continue reading →

Literary hero Abdulrahman Zeitoun to remain jailed, judge rules

Abdulrahman Zeitoun

Abdulrahman Zeitoun, the local painting contractor whose alleged harassment of his ex-wife has come to overshadow his once-heroic image from a popular work of post-Katrina literature, will remain in jail until his latest legal troubles are resolved, a judge ruled Thursday. Zeitoun, 57, has been in and out of jail — mostly in — for months,… Continue reading →

Two ‘110’ers’ gang members get life without parole for murders

Demond 'Lil D' Sandifer

Two weary mothers made their voices heard Thursday inside an Orleans Parish courtroom. One of them stared down her son’s killer, pleading for a hint of remorse. The other tore into the image of her son as a cold-blooded, murderous gangster, even as he sat gazing at her from a few feet away, showing… Continue reading →

Orleans Civil District Judge Clare Jupiter hospitalized

Photos provided by Orleans Parish Civil District Court - Civil Court Judge Clare Jupiter is pictured last year holding her granddaughter Ayanna Perry,  with New Orleans District E Councilman James Gray, and Civil Court Judges Bernadette DSouza and Paula Brown.

Orleans Parish Civil District Court Judge Clare Jupiter was hospitalized Thursday afternoon after suffering a medical problem in her chambers that one source said appeared to be a heart attack. Emergency medical personnel were called to the courthouse about 1 p.m., and Jupiter was taken by ambulance to Interim LSU Hospital for what court spokesman Walt… Continue reading →

After arrest of celebrated baker, prosecutors to take fresh look at ’06 slaying

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Michelle Paige, and Veronica Paige Lewis, right, hold pictures of Leroy Paige, Michelle's husband and Veronica's son, who was allegedly stabbed and killed by baker turned actor Dwight Henry in Feb. 2006. Photo taken in New Orleans, La. Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014. There home is next to an overgrown vacant lot abandoned after the federal levee failures following Hurricane Katrina.

Amid charges that renowned New Orleans baker and actor Dwight Henry stole cash from his former place of business, prosecutors are re-examining a 2006 homicide for which Henry was arrested but never charged, saying it’s not clear why former District Attorney Eddie Jordan’s administration did not prosecute the case. Months after Hurricane Katrina’s floodwaters… Continue reading →

Coroner rules death of OPP inmate a homicide

Willie Lee

The death of a man who collapsed after a fight with a fellow inmate at Orleans Parish Prison has been ruled a homicide by Coroner Jeffrey Rouse, a decision that appears to signal a sharp departure in philosophy from his predecessor, Frank Minyard. In a prepared statement Thursday, Rouse said Willie Lee, 40, “suffered a cardiac… Continue reading →

Georgia man arrested in slaying of New Orleans DJ, and other police area news.

Calvin C. Craig Jr.

Police in Georgia have arrested a man in connection with the murder of Ahmad Sheppard, 33, a New Orleans DJ who was shot to death in his Prytania Street apartment in June 2013. According to a statement from the NOPD, 25-year-old Travis Cochran… Continue reading →

Man’s family sues Kenner police over allegedly wrongful death

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON-- Lisa White, the sister of Don White, left, and Adrian Gaines a long time family friend of the Whites don't understand why Don White was shot by a Kenner Police Officer while talking outside his home in Gentilly Monday, Nov. 11, 2013. White later died from the shooting and was shot by a Kenner Police Officer after White allegedly began driving a stolen car towards the officer.

The family of a suspected car thief who was fatally shot by Kenner police last year has filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the city and several unnamed officers. The lawsuit, filed last week in U.S. District Court, claims Kenner police violated the civil rights of Don White, 24, and used excessive force in “attempting to frame… Continue reading →

Judge refuses to raise or revoke Peralta’s bond

David Peralta's booking mug.

The judge presiding over St. Bernard Parish President David Peralta’s sexual battery case rejected prosecutors’ request Wednesday to increase or revoke the bail of the embattled first-term parish leader. Peralta’s legal issues stem from an incident in October 2013 in which his then-wife, Sharon Schaefer, alleges that he handcuffed, beat and raped her in their Meraux… Continue reading →

Delgado student reported missing, and other area police news

Shroq Aziz

New Orleans police are searching for a Delgado Community College student who disappeared Monday after leaving her home on City Park Avenue for class. The woman, 19-year-old Shroq Aziz, was last seen about 7:30 a.m. When she didn’t return home from school by 5:30 p.m., her parents went… Continue reading →

New Orleans baker-turned-celebrated actor Dwight Henry accused of stealing money from register

Advocate file photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Dwight Henry had a journeyman's education in New Orleans baking traditions before opening his own first bake shop and later landing roles in major films. Henry is pictured here in July of 2014.

A thriving New Orleans baker, catapulted to celebrity as an actor by his roles in two internationally acclaimed films, has been accused of barging into a Mid-City bakery where he formerly worked and swiping hundreds of dollars from the cash register — the alleged culmination of a falling-out with the bakery’s management. New Orleans… Continue reading →

Lon Burns, former DA candidate, accused of kicking, punching woman

Lon Burns

New Orleans criminal defense attorney Lionel “Lon” Burns Jr. allegedly kicked, punched and grabbed a woman after showing up at her home early one morning last week, according to court records. A former Orleans Parish prosecutor, Burns, 43, surrendered to police Monday on an arrest warrant issued five days earlier. He was booked on suspicion of… Continue reading →

Mayor pledges overhaul of NOPD sex crimes unit in wake of blistering report

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- New Orleans Police Chief Michael Harrison, center, stands between Inspector General Ed Quatrevaux, left, and Mayor Mitch Landrieu, right, at a news conference Tuesday, November 18, 2014. An IG report on the NOPD sex crimes unit was scathing in its criticism.

Calling the alleged failure of five New Orleans police detectives to investigate hundreds of reported sex crimes “a disgrace,” Mayor Mitch Landrieu on Tuesday pledged a thorough housecleaning in the NOPD’s sex crimes unit and said a newly formed task force will dig into hundreds of cases that apparently went ignored. The new task… Continue reading →

Trial delayed for pair in Jaren Lockhart case, and other area crime news

Photo provided by the Kenner Police Department -- Terry Speaks

The Kenner couple accused of stabbing Bourbon Street dancer Jaren Lockhart to death and dismembering her body two years ago will not stand trial on Jan. 12 as originally planned. Judge Stephen Grefer, of the 24th Judicial District Court in Gretna, on Monday scheduled… Continue reading →

La. Supreme Court disbars N.O. attorney tied to drug-dealing scheme

Cory S. Morton

A New Orleans lawyer — sentenced to probation this year even after authorities found 20 pounds of marijuana in his apartment — began dabbling in interstate drug dealing last year after a former client fled the state owing him tens of thousands of dollars, according to court documents. The lawyer, Cory S. Morton, who was disbarred… Continue reading →

Judge Chris Bruno wants former challenger Ruth Ramsey held in contempt

Fresh off his re-election to the Orleans Parish Civil District Court bench, Judge Chris Bruno has asked a fellow judge to fine and consider jailing Ruth Ramsey, Bruno’s challenger in the Nov. 4 race. Bruno claims Ramsey “flagrantly disregarded” a restraining order by reissuing an attack ad even as voters cast their ballots on Election Day.… Continue reading →

Teacher accused of having sex with student asks judge to ease house arrest

Shelley Dufresne

One of the former Destrehan High School teachers accused of having sex with a 16-year-old student is asking a judge to ease the terms of her house arrest. Shelley Dufresne, 32, was originally released on a $200,000 bond on the condition she remain in her home except for limited circumstances. Now, her lawyer, Deanne Williams, has… Continue reading →

Executions in Louisiana on hold until at least June

Lawyers for a convicted child-killer and the state Department of Corrections were supposed to be in federal court Monday to schedule a trial on the constitutionality of Louisiana’s method of executing prisoners. Instead, the trial and Christopher Sepulvado’s pending execution have been delayed for at least seven months as Louisiana figures out the best way to carry out… Continue reading →

ATF offers $2,500 reward in Uptown firebombing of cars, home

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- A house and three cars burned on Prytania Street at Constantinople in the early morning hours Thursday, November 6, 2014 in an apparent fire bombing.

Law enforcement authorities offered a $2,500 reward Monday for tips that can lead investigators to the arsonist who torched two vehicles belonging to a New Orleans political consultant and fundraiser. The Nov. 6 firebombing also ignited the Prytania Street home where the consultant, Mario Zervigon, lived with his family. Eight people escaped the Uptown… Continue reading →