With the experienced and skilled legal assistance of our founding attorney, Gregory Q. Carter, a man charged with the second-degree murder in the 2014 slaying of a 35-year-old Domino’s driver was found not guilty by a New Orleans jury in a 10-2 vote this past Thursday (May 17). Additionally, Shane Hughes, 20, was also acquitted in the armed robbery of a woman in her Uptown driveway the previous day the murder occurred.
However, the jury was hung on a second charge of the armed robbery of pizza delivery driver, which prosecutors claim occurred in connection with his murder. The District Attorney’s Office said it plans to re-try Hughes on that charge.
Hughes and Rendell Brown were both 16 at the time of each incident, and both were on electronic ankle monitors in connection with juvenile offenses. Brown pleaded guilty to manslaughter and other counts in March in exchange for a 40-year prison sentence.
In their closing statement at trial, the prosecution told the jury that it was implausible that Hughes coincidentally was involved in two serious crimes. They claimed that Hughes was still an active participant in each criminal offense, despite not having a gun.
Yet, Attorney Carter—along with another defense attorney, John Fuller—told jurors that while his ankle monitor data showed Hughes was at the scenes of both crimes, he had failed to actually play a role in either case. The data from ankle device determined that Hughes was leaving the scenes as the crimes were being committed.
“He could not have committed this crime, and he literally was not there at the time the murder took place,” said Attorney Carter said in The Advocate. “They literally give a latitude and longitude down to seven digits. That’s not guesswork.”
He explained that Brown’s ankle monitor showed he was in the 2800 block of St. Louis Street for three minutes—from 11:58 p.m. until midnight. By contrast, Hughes’ monitor showed he was walking past the block at the time.
The killing of the pizza deliveryman, who was also a French Quarter karaoke DJ, and the subsequent arrest of two 16-year-olds gained local media attention. Carter said he appreciated that the jury was able to look past the strong emotions emanated from the case.
“When you look at the case and realize that the District Attorney’s Office, for four years, has had ankle monitor information that showed my client wasn’t at the scene of the murder at the time it took place…there’s no reason he ever should have been in jail, and there’s certainly no reason the jury would have come back guilty,” he explained.
Whether you have been arrested for a crime or are currently under criminal investigation, The G. Carter Law Firm is committed to protecting your rights and future. For more information about our reputable legal services, contact our New Orleans criminal defense lawyer today.