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Armed robberies, carjackings reported across New Orleans Saturday and Sunday, police say

A dozen robberies – many involving weapons – were reported on Saturday and early Sunday in New Orleans, according to police. The New Orleans Police Department reported the following robberies and carjackings in a preliminary offense log early Sunday: --Around 7:45 p.m. Saturday, two women, ages 21 and 22, were sitting in a vehicle in the 2600 block of Cupid Street when… Continue reading →

NOPD reports fewer ‘unfounded’ calls, but surge in a similar category raises questions about crime follow-up

Advocate Staff Photo by Eliot Kamenitz---A New Orleans Police car driven by officer Michael Murhammer rolls down Vicksburg Street as part of the community policing program on Wednesday, August 14, 2013.

While the New Orleans Police Department has succeeded in all but ending the practice of writing off calls for help as “unfounded” if the caller leaves the scene before an officer arrives, a sharp rise in the number of calls given a similar designation raises questions about whether the change has had concrete results.… Continue reading →

Twin sister wants justice in unsolved killing of pregnant woman, Mardi Gras Indian big chief in New Orleans East

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER -- Britnee Stewart is the twin sister of Breon Stewart, who was gunned down in a double murder outside a New Orleans East apartment last year. Breon was nine months pregnant when she died.

Britnee Stewart never imagined life without her twin sister. Breon Stewart was born three minutes before her, and for the next 23 years, she remained in the lead as the pair grew up, their lives never straying far from each other. Both of them performed as majorettes and played softball and volleyball on the same teams.… Continue reading →

Sheriff Marlin Gusman rejects claims of chaos at New Orleans jail: 'Couldn't be further from the truth'

Advocate staff photo by MATTHEW HINTON--Marlin Gusman leads a group of clergy and supporters to the front of the Orleans Parish Justice Center and Jail in New Orleans, La. Tuesday, May 24, 2016. The press conference comes a day ahead of a U.S. Department of Justice receivership hearing at Federal Court to remove Gusman from control of the jail.

Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman expressed confidence Friday that he will overcome an effort by the federal government to take control of the city’s jail, accusing the U.S. Justice Department of “dwelling on the past.” The sheriff, addressing reporters after a third day of testimony in U.S. District Court, said he took particular exception to the claim… Continue reading →

Arrest made in connection to Monday’s fatal shooting in Harvey

A second-degree murder warrant has been issued for Jeremy Jay Ratliff.

The Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office has arrested one man in connection with a murder that occurred Monday evening, and the agency is searching for two other suspects in the killing who are at large. Charley George, 28, was jailed Thursday on a count of second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of 29-year-old Chad Miller,… Continue reading →

DA drops murder charge against Jerome Morgan for 1993 killing

Advocate photo by JOHN SIMERMAN -- Innocence Project New Orleans clients Jerome Morgan, right and Robert Jones are pictured here in this undated file photo. Murder charges have been dropped against Morgan for a 1993 slaying. Robert Jones, 43, is awaiting retrial in a 1992 armed robbery, kidnapping and rape case after his own conviction was overturned in 2014. Both are clients of .

Jerome Morgan, who spent nearly two decades behind bars for the slaying of a 16-year-old youth in a Gentilly motel ballroom before a judge threw out his conviction two years ago, won’t be retried in the 1993 killing. Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro grudgingly dropped the murder charge Friday. Cannizzaro refused to proclaim… Continue reading →

'You roll with us, or you get rolled over': New Orleans’ culture of killing on display at trial of accused ‘3NG’ gang leader

New Orleans officials look at mugshots of the 20 indicted 3NG gang members in 2013.

Washington “Big Wash” McCaskill was 11 or 12 when he started toting a gun around the streets of New Orleans, he told a jury this week. By 13, he stood 6 feet tall and netted $400 to $500 a day selling crack on the streets of Central City and Uptown, stashing the proceeds… Continue reading →

Report: Crimestoppers signs pop up seeking information in Thomas Rolfes' death

Billboards advertising the reward for information in Tulane graduate Thomas Rolfes' death have appeared on Claiborne Avenue. (Photo via WWL-TV)

With much still unknown almost a month after the death of Tulane graduate Thomas Rolfes, billboards advertising the $30,000 being offered have sprung up in the area of South Claiborne Avenue. In a report from WWL-TV, Rolfes' former roommate said the family and his fiancee haven't given up hope to find out what happened.… Continue reading →

NOPD: 14-year-old boy shot multiple times in New Orleans East Thursday

Advocate staff photo by MATT SLEDGE -- New Orleans police are investigating a shooting in New Orleans East Thursday. Police say a 14-year-old boy is the victim.

. Update, 1:45 p.m. New Orleans police said the victim, a 14-year-old boy, sustained multiple gunshot wounds and was taken to an area hospital, where he is currently being treated. His condition was not immediately known. The shooting happened in the 8900 block of Morrison Road, and the victim then went to the 9000 block of Bunker Hill, where… Continue reading →

Prosecutor: Retrial for Jerome Morgan in 1993 murder still on, despite loss of key evidence

An Orleans Parish prosecutor said Thursday that a June 13 retrial for Jerome Morgan in a 1993 murder will go ahead despite a Louisiana Supreme Court ruling this month that will bar a jury from hearing pivotal evidence in the case. Morgan’s attorneys asked Criminal District Court Judge Franz Zibilich to dismiss the case,… Continue reading →

Jury convicts Avondale man on gun, weapons charges

An Avondale man who rejected a 10-year plea deal earlier this week saw a jury reject his claim of being framed by police on gun and weapons charges on Wednesday. Westley Simmons told jurors that Jefferson Parish deputies framed him as payback for a 2007 crime in New Orleans, where he shot a rifle at a police… Continue reading →

JPSO seeks suspect after Jesuit High School baseball field burglarized again Wednesday

The Jefferson Parish Sheriff

. The Jesuit High School baseball field at 100 Blue Jay Way in Metairie was burglarized Wednesday night, the latest in a series of thefts that Jefferson Parish officials say are likely related. Several businesses, including the school's John Ryan Stadium and Anthony’s Landscaping at 300 L and A Road, have been burglarized in the area since July 2015,… Continue reading →

Psychiatrist tells judge that crisis management for mentally ill inmates remains ‘abysmal’ at New Orleans jail

Advocate staff photo by JOHN McCUSKER --  Orleans Parish Sheriff Marlin Gusman speaks at a news conference in May 2016.

A psychiatrist told a judge Thursday that mental health treatment at the New Orleans jail remains lacking in many respects and is “abysmal with regard to crisis management,” bolstering the federal government’s claim that conditions at the lockup are so bad they violate inmates’ constitutional rights. Dr. Raymond F. Patterson, a well-known mental health expert, testified… Continue reading →

Suspect in attempted murder case arrested after standoff with Slidell police

. A man wanted in an attempted murder case in Coushatta was arrested early Wednesday after a 30-minute standoff with Slidell police and U.S. marshals.

Slidell police said Valere Frazier was arrested without incident at a home in the 1300 block of Westlawn Drive in Slidell.

He was wanted on multiple felony warrants from the Red River Parish Sheriff’s… Continue reading →

NOPD: Man involved in crash that killed 80-year-old New Orleans woman had cocaine in blood

A Covington man had cocaine and codeine in his blood when he was involved in a fatal crash that killed a grandmother in the Upper 9th Ward in October, New Orleans police said. On Monday, months after police said Joseph Echar, 39, crashed into the 80-year-old woman’s vehicle and killed her, he was booked into the Orleans Parish jail and ordered… Continue reading →

NOPD: Missing man found dead of multiple gunshot wounds near I-10; 2 injured in Gert Town shooting

Sean Johnson, who was found dead Wednesday evening

Police reported late Wednesday they are investigating the homicide of a man found dead near the intersection of 1-10 West and Elysian Fields. Sean Johnson, 24, had been reported missing earlier in the day, according to an NOPD release, and was discovered about 7:30 p.m. having suffered multiple gunshot wounds. Johnson was last seen around 11 p.m. Monday driving his girlfriend's Silver… Continue reading →

Orleans jury convicts Gerard Gray for ordering shooting of two men in dispute over Central City hoops court

An Orleans Parish jury convicted an accused Central City gang leader Wednesday on two counts of attempted murder, finding that Gerard Gray furnished a gun for an acquaintance and directed him to fire on two men at A.L. Davis Park during a dispute about who had next “dibs” on the basketball court there. Jonterry… Continue reading →

Lacombe man gets 20 years for second offense in failing to register as sex offender

Alva Thompson, 44, of Lacombe

A man from Lacombe with a felony record who twice ignored the law requiring sex offenders to register will spend the next 20 years in prison after being sentenced by 22nd Judicial District Judge William Burris. Alva Thompson, 44, pleaded guilty to aggravated incest in May 2007 and was sentenced to five years in prison, according to… Continue reading →

St. John deputy suspended after he was allegedly found with drugs, Glock handgun during traffic stop

A St. John the Baptist Parish Sheriff’s Office deputy was suspended on Wednesday after he was arrested with illegal drugs in St. Charles Parish, officials said. St. John Sheriff Mike Tregre said that 23-year-old Barry Conner II, a deputy in the corrections division, had been placed on indefinite suspension after his arrest early Wednesday morning. Capt.… Continue reading →

Slidell police arrest suspect in attempted murder case after half-hour standoff Wednesday

A man wanted in an attempted murder case in Coushatta, La. was arrested early Wednesday morning after a 30-minute stand-off with Slidell police and U.S. Marshals. Valere Frazier was arrested without incident at a home in the 1300 block of Westlawn Drive in Slidell. He was wanted on multiple felony warrants from the Red River… Continue reading →