Cannizzaro caves in: Despite hopes to the contrary, District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro appears to be kowtowing to the rich and powerful. He's decided that hitting someone so hard it puts them in a coma is no worse than jaywalking or spitting on the street.
But the DA's flak says, "After conducting an extensive and thorough review of all of the evidence in this case--some of which is not available to the public..." that Cannizzaro agrees it's only a case of misdemeanor battery. This from a guy who promised to be tough on crime? And what's this crap about evidence "which is not available to the public"? This was the guy who was going to be so transparent--apparently that's a warning meaning "I'm going to lie to you."
Oops, wrong guys: Cannizzaro also refused--without explanation--to prosecute the guys cops were sure held up Buffa's Bar & Lounge and St. Charles Bar & Billiards this summer:
- Buffa's: Darwin Hunter, 27, turned himself into 8th District NOPD headquarters on 8.5.09 after a warrant was issued for his arrest in the armed robbery of the bar at Esplanade Avenue and Burgundy Street on 7.31.09. The warrant was based on a photo line-up Det. Willie Jenkins showed to people at the bar.
- St. Charles Bar: Travis Chapuis, 24, was arrested by 8th District Det. Maggie Darling for a robbery at the bar at 736 St. Charles Ave. on 8.5.09, the second robbery there in a month.
Here's how Chapuis describes his ordeal, in his own words: "Hi an hello this is Travis Chapuis the acused robber of the 736 St. Charles bar &tavern it is ashame that the police and the juges are not doing there job putting inocent people behind bars with no hard evidence so that means I could call the police and tell them that somebody robbed me at gun point an I just pick somebody I dont kie an they will have to spend 60/120 day or longer depending on if there convicted or not this does not seem like justice it seems like you put a blind fold around my eyes and shot me in the chest my face an name is all over the computer saying I did something I didn't do I've been cleared of all charges why havent ya'll put that in your little story I would rather you asked me my side of what happend and what I went through during the time I spent in jail there or so many people in jail for things they didn't do but there is no justice for them I met a lot of people during my time in jail some guilty some inocent how would you feel if someone said you did something you didn't do an you had to sit in jail for it what would your reaction be I lost time with my family my children have grown so much Ihave missed so much that I cant get back an no one can make that right the system is rey screwd up please post a new comment that I have been cleared of all charges."
Others let go: Cannizzaro has been better about it than his predecessors, but he still occasionally nolle prosses some cases, or just flat out refuses to prosecute them. It would be nice if there was some explanation of why:
- Pursesnatching against Lenard Legania, 24, was nolle prossed 10.13.09. Legania was accused of being one of 3 black guys who robbed another black man of his coin purse as he sat on his stoop at St. Ann and Dauphine streets late last year.
- Aggravated battery against Shonede Kornbacher, 38, was nolle prossed 10.27.09. He was accused of going after a "friend" who was walking in the 600 block of N. Rampart Street in May with a baseball bat. When the friend disarmed him of the bat, Kornbacher allegedly pulled out a knife and stabbed his friend.
- Charges of aggravated assault, extortion and criminal damage of property against Joseph K. Allen, 43, were refused on 10.22.09. Hard to tell what this case was really about, but the police report said the victim was walking near St. Ann and Bourbon streets early one morning in May when he bumped into Allen, a stranger. They got into an argument and Allen allegedly pulled a knife and pointed it toward the victim in a threatening manner. The victim fled but Allen allegedly chased him down--until the police caught Allen.
- Joseph A. Davis, 18, had several run-ins with the law in the last 6 months, but has managed to elude serious jail time.
In the second case, Judge Darryl Derbigny gave him a 2-year suspended sentence after he pled guilty to simple robbery.
- Byron Asmore, 46, on the other hand, got 7 years in prison from Judge Laurie White for pursesnatching when he pled guilty after the DA agreed not to charge him as a career criminal.
- Nicholas Duplessis (right), 24, and Charles Roy (left), 20, each received a 7-year suspended sentence from Judge Robin Pittman after they pled guilty to simple robbery.
- Purnell Madison, 62, was sentenced to 10 years in prison by Judge Lynda Van Davis as a multiple offender after pleading guilty to pursesnatching.
- Jarred C. Simmons Jr., 18, was given a 3-year suspended sentence by Judge Ben Willard after pleading guilty to attempted simple robbery.
- Keri Ansley, 25, was sentenced to a year in jail by Judge Julian Parker after she pled guilty to aggravated battery for stabbing her boyfriend several times at 925 Common St. in July.
- Raymond Taylor, 41, was given a 6-month suspended sentence by Magistrate Rudy Gorrell after finding him guilty of aggravated assault.
- Romeo Alvarez, 21, was given a 2-year suspended sentence by Judge Karen Herman after he pled guilty to illegal use of a weapon.
- Aubrey Young, 23, didn't know when he was well off. Back in November last year he got a 2-year suspended sentence for a charge of possession with intent to distribute marijuana that was whittled down to possession of marijuana.
This time the charge was reduced to possession with intent to distribute and Judge Darryl Derbigny imposed a 10-year suspended sentence.
But, thanks to Judge Robin Pittman, Young's probation on his previous 2-year sentence was revoked and he's doing the time in OPP.
- Brandon Roussell, 18, was given a 3-year suspended sentence by Judge Karen Herman (doesn't anybody do time for the crime any more?) after he pled guilty to 2 charges of simple robbery.