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Thread: Orleans DA drops murder case
02-17-07, 05:02 AM #1
Orleans DA drops murder case
Orleans DA drops murder case
Witness, evidence problems mounted
Friday, February 16, 2007
By Gwen Filosa
Orleans Parish prosecutors have given up trying to charge a first-degree murder suspect from its batch of 47 homicide cases from 2006, blaming witness problems and a lack of physical evidence.
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Treg Eugene, 20, is free from the accusation of gunning down Darryl Tyrone "Dizzy" Davis, 20, as the two were chasing a rapper outside a Hollygrove home on May 28. Eugene also escaped an attempted-murder charge involving a gunshot wound to the rapper's leg.
District Attorney Eddie Jordan's office dumped the case because the surviving victim couldn't or wouldn't identify anyone as the perpetrator, his spokesman Dalton Savwoir said.
Monday's refusal marks a second time Eugene has escaped charges of violence in recent years.
In his latest case, the victim, Alton G. Patterson, 34, has a thick criminal record of his own dating back to 1990 that includes an attempted-murder conviction and arrests on charges of drug possession and kidnapping.
Prosecutors refused charges against Eugene, along with two other defendants in an unrelated 2006 murder case, on Monday, the same day Jordan and Police Superintendent Warren Riley spent four hours before the City Council explaining why their departments lag in curbing New Orleans' violent crime wave, which left a body count of 162 last year.
The decision to refuse charges against Eugene came after a magistrate commissioner found probable cause for both first-degree murder and attempted murder. On Feb. 7, detectives testified they caught Eugene with a 9 mm gun that matched the bullets taken out of Davis' corpse.
Eugene may not have intended to kill his accomplice and friend, detectives said, but they booked him with capital murder because Davis was cut down while the pair were committing a crime.
Ballistics tests match the lethal bullets to the gun Eugene was carrying when arrested, police said. But, Savwoir said, "The gun was circumstantial evidence" and not enough to pin Eugene to a murder.
Eugene, who stands 4-foot-9 and weighs about 140 pounds, became a fugitive after the killing of Davis, and was on the lam until the U.S. Marshal's Service arrested him in Houston in November. Eugene was booked into Orleans Parish Prison on Dec. 12 and held without bail until this week.
Left at hospital
The shootings occurred in the darkness before dawn on May 28 in the 2700 block of Monticello Street. Bullets from a 9 mm pistol and an assault rifle rained down on Patterson as he was getting into his car, police said. He ran away, with the gunmen chasing him.
Shortly after the gunfire, someone dropped Davis off at a hospital, leaving no information and refusing to wait. Davis died from a bullet that entered his left arm and penetrated his heart and a lung.
One prosecutor deemed the case "weak" from the start, according to a law enforcement officer familiar with the case. On top of not having an ideal eyewitness to the crime, Patterson had an outstanding warrant in a 2004 attempted murder that he only recently answered.
"Everyone involved was a character," the officer said Wednesday.
Eugene dodged an attempted murder rap in 2003, when he was 17.
Police booked him with shooting a 30-year-old man at the corner of South Liberty and Thalia streets, and with illegally carrying weapons. The victim had been shot in the leg, and 6th District detectives fingered Eugene as the suspect
But prosecutors dumped the case in less than a month after the teen's arrest, refusing to charge.
One of four held
In another 2006 murder case development, Jordan's team Monday refused to charge two suspects booked in the murder of Mandell Duplessis, 24, in Gentilly on Aug. 4. Alphonse Gilmore, 18, and Averill Johnson, 21, are free from charges. Only one man remains a suspect, Garelle Smith, 25, booked in January outside the shuttered St. Bernard housing complex during a protest by residents who want it reopened.
Smith is the one who pulled the trigger on Duplessis, police said, during an armed robbery at a FEMA trailer that Duplessis unwittingly interrupted.
A fourth murder suspect, Wendell Mingo, 21, was booked with Duplessis' murder but prosecutors failed to charge within the legal deadline of 60 days and he walked on that case. But Mingo remains in Parish Prison, awaiting extradition to Georgia on a warrant issued for his arrest there.
Capt. D. Larimore
NTISF Gang Unit
02-17-07, 08:55 AM #2
No surprise here.Do not war for peace. If you must war, war for justice. For without justice there is no peace. -me
We are who we choose to be.
R.I.P. Arielle. 08/20/2010-09/16/2012
02-17-07, 09:27 AM #3
Gee... all this convenient amnesty for murderers in New Orleans. I bet the cops charged in the bridge shooting won't be on the list.
Sleep peacefully in your beds, New Orleans. Your elected officials are hard at work rebuilding your city back to right where it was before Katrina flushed the toilets for you.
"The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public's money."
- Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America
Tell me not, Sweet, I am unkind,
That from the nunnery
Of thy chaste breast and quiet mind
To war and arms I fly. - Lovelace
The opinions expressed by this poster are wholly his own, and should never be construed to even remotely be in representation of his employer, its agencies or assigns. In fact, they probably fail to be in alignment with the opinions of any rational human being.
02-19-07, 03:28 AM #4
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