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New Orleans D.A. Drops Merritt Landry Self-Defense Shooting of Black 14-Year-Old

New Orleans D.A. Drops Merritt Landry Self-Defense Shooting of Black 14-Year-Old

DA Cannizzaro: “Following Coulter’s most recent burglary arrests, any case that this office had against Landry was irreversibly damaged.”

Oh Lord, it’s hard to be humble, when my self-defense law predictions are so often right.

The New Orleans Times Picayune is reporting  today District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro of the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office officially announced they were dropping their efforts to prosecute Merritt Landry for attempted second degree murder over Landry’s shooting of then 14-year-old Marshall Coulter through the head . (h/t @nadraenzi, aka “capblack,” who has been a vigorous supporter of Landry since the start.)

It was just twelve days ago that we reported here at Legal Insurrection about Coulter’s arrest on new burglary charges, (Teenage burglar in high-profile New Orleans self-defense case burglarizes again) and only nine days ago that we also reported here that Coulter had been freshly charged with a home invasion he allegedly committed when he was a mere 13 years old (Teenage burglar in New Orleans self defense case charged in separate home invasion).  In that incident Coulter is claimed to have threatened the surprised and frightened homeowners with their own firearm.  We ended that second post by noting:

One would think that this latest news can only accelerate the date at which prosecutors will formally  cease their efforts to prosecute Landry on the attempted second degree murder charges on which they have been unable to get an indictment after multiple attempts, even prior to Coulter’s latests series of arrests.

Boom. Today District Attorney Cannizzaro released a statement explaining the decision of his office to drop the case:

My office has closed its investigation of Merritt Landry and has declined to institute prosecution for any charges arising out of his arrest on July 26 of last year.  . . . I am ethically obligated not to charge an individual against whom I do not possess evidence that proves beyond a reasonable doubt that he committed a crime. Such evidence does not exist in this case. Following Coulter’s most recent burglary arrests, any case that this office had against Landry was irreversibly damaged.  . . . In an effort to obtain an indictment of Merritt Landry, my office presented an in-depth and thorough case to the Grand Jury. They pretermitted the case, which means that nine jurors could not agree to either charge or not charge Landry with a crime. Following Coulter’s most recent burglary arrests, any case that this office had against Landry was irreversibly damaged.

Cannizzaro also seemed quite displeased with having been misled by Coulter’s family about his physical condition, which has self-evidently improved sufficiently for the now 15-year-old to be arrested on fresh burglary charges.

Based on numbers interactions with Coulter, as well as interviews with his family and healthcare providers, we were repeatedly led to believe that he was in what can best be described as an irreparable, semi-vegetative state.  When we visited with Coulter less than three months ago, we were led to believe that he could not walk without assistance and could only provide single-word responses to the simplest questions.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, would seem to wrap up the Merritt Landry self-defense case.

Joseph Walker Next Major Self-Defense Trial To Be Covered by Legal Insurrection

Next up:  The Joseph Walker trial, set to begin in less than a week, on Wednesday, May 21.  This is the case of the New Jersey police officer who shot and killed  in an apparent road rage incident in Maryland.  We’ll be covering the trial as closely as circumstances permit–if the trial is broadcast, I’ll be live-tweeting it and doing one or two updates per day right here at Legal Insurrection.  If it’s not broadcast, we’ll cover and post as news breaks.  Prior to the trial I will post up some background on the relevant Maryland self-defense law, to set a solid foundation for our understanding of the case as it unfolds at trial.

For our past coverage of this case from the very first reports, see below (in reverse chronological order):

“Road Rage” Murder Trial: Motion to Dismiss, Grand Jury Testimony

“Road Rage” Murder Trial: Witness Arrives After Harvey Down

“Road Rage” Murder Trial: Witness Says Walker Shot Stopped Harvey ~40′ Away

“Road Rage” Murder Trial: Witness Provides Confusing, Mistaken Testimony

“Road Rage” Murder Trial: Witness Provides Confusing, Mistaken Testimony

“Road Rage” Murder Trial: Walker Appeared to Goad Harvey: “Come on.”

“Road Rage” Murder Trial: Off-duty Cop’s Roadside Statement

Off-duty cop “Road Rage” 911 call: “I had to fire my weapon.”

Off-duty cop “Road Rage” 911 call: “They were going to fight on side of road”

Witness says off-duty “Road Rage” cop not aggressor in Maryland shooting

Off-Duty Cop “Road Rage” Case: Cracks Appear in Prosecution Narrative

Off-duty “Road Rage” Cop lawyer: Grand Jury given “materially false and misleading testimony”

Off-Duty Cop Road Rage Murder Trial – next big self-defense case

–-Andrew, @LawSelfDefense


Andrew F. Branca is an MA lawyer and the author of the seminal book “The Law of Self Defense, 2nd Edition,” available at the Law of Self Defense blog, Amazon.com (paperback and Kindle), Barnes & Noble (paperback and Nook), and elsewhere.

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Comments

great unknown | May 15, 2014 at 4:40 pm

“Cannizzaro also seemed quite displeased with having been misled by Coulter’s family about his physical condition…”

Was he displeased with having been misled … about Coulter being such a “sweet, respectful child who would never think of breaking the law”?

The shooter didn’t know the perp or his priors, his post-facto deeds are ear elephant, so what’s the legal theory for dropping the prosecution?

/sarc

    The legal theory?

    The legal theory is that he was going to have his ass handed to him by the defense at trial. There were two witnesses to the events in question. Landry. And Coulter.

    Also, Coulter’s conduct gave him the fig leaf he needed to bow out without being called “racist!” too loudly.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      gregjgrose in reply to Andrew Branca. | May 15, 2014 at 6:33 pm

      I’m sure there must be something much more high-minded than that going on…

      (Well, not that saving the tax-payers a humiliation is low-minded…)

      and by the way, for a long time I thought you and the cartoonist where the same guy: A. F. BrancA and A. F. BrancO, a puzzler (to people like me from the land of the easily amused and confused–we’re happy folk, we are.)

        AF BrancO is the talented one.

        I’m just a small-town MA lawyer. 🙂

        –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

          Henry Hawkins in reply to Andrew Branca. | May 15, 2014 at 8:40 pm

          “I’m just a small-town MA lawyer…” who tours America on a motorcycle giving speeches, joining forums and panels, and selling his best seller on self-defense, lauded by critics as the Bible of its genre.

          F**k, man, I’m jealous. Keep it up and I’ll want to have your babies.

          JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Andrew Branca. | May 15, 2014 at 11:23 pm

          Please tell the professor that your readers here desperately need a ‘roll eyes’ emoticon.

          Thank you 🙂

          Gremlin1974 in reply to Andrew Branca. | May 16, 2014 at 12:15 am

          LOL, I notice that he left out “modest” as well!

          platypus in reply to Andrew Branca. | May 16, 2014 at 12:46 pm

          Uh, Henry seems to gone over to the dark side. I mean, where is he going to get the plumbing to pull of THAT feat?

          Also, it’s way TMI.

      MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to Andrew Branca. | May 16, 2014 at 1:58 am

      “There were two witnesses to the events in question. Landry. And Coulter. ”

      No. There were three. Coulter’s accomplice. Though we don’t know how much he actually saw.

Based on numbers interactions with Coulter, as well as interviews with his family and healthcare providers, we were repeatedly led to believe that he was in what can best be described as an irreparable, semi-vegetative state.

We can expect Coulter’s relatives to be scum-sucking liars, but what’s the excuse for the “healthcare providers”? Were they deliberately interfering with an investigation?

    gregjgrose in reply to tom swift. | May 15, 2014 at 5:01 pm

    >> led to believe that he was in what can best be described as a … semi-vegetative state

    So juiced he could be a V8?

    Anchovy in reply to tom swift. | May 15, 2014 at 8:37 pm

    Perhaps that described him before the incident as well.

    tom swift in reply to tom swift. | May 15, 2014 at 8:47 pm

    Maybe the DA’s office didn’t get any information about Coulter’s condition from “medical providers”, but did it the lazy way and got the info from whatever source was most convenient, not most accurate. And now see no reason to admit it.

      Estragon in reply to tom swift. | May 15, 2014 at 11:42 pm

      HIPPA laws strictly limit what information medical personnel and facilities can disclose without a warrant. Since the fact the young man was shot is not in dispute, there really would be no cause for a warrant. So it is most likely Mama telling them “The doctors say . . .”

      If Coulter was well enough to commit another burglary, there had to be a lot of people who knew it. Family, friends, neighbors. Yet not one of them tipped off the prosecutor either that he was faking or that he was still in the crime business.

      It’s good to know so many people would rather see a criminal get an undeserved payday from victims’ funds and maybe a lawsuit than see justice done. It’s not good they are that way, but it is good know about it if they are.

        JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Estragon. | May 15, 2014 at 11:55 pm

        The only person who would rat scumbag out would be some other low-life grifter (family, friend, neighbor) using it as a very small bargaining chip in their own arrest or figured out a way to parlay the info into $50 or so from someone.

        SmokeVanThorn in reply to Estragon. | May 17, 2014 at 9:41 am

        Wrong – HIPAA (that’s the correct acronym) regulations explicitly allow the release of PHI for law enforcement/investigation purposes.

      MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to tom swift. | May 16, 2014 at 2:46 am

      I think obtaining all the medical records is de rigueur in cases like this. Information about the state of the patient may be important in how the DA charges. Certainly some information may be important forensically.

      Most likely what happened is that a couple of days after the shooting, nothing was oozing out of his brain. So the hospital sent him home, where he was being treated by the local “call when when you get nudged by a car” lawyer.

      MouseTheLuckyDog in reply to tom swift. | May 16, 2014 at 2:47 am

      I think obtaining all the medical records is de rigueur in cases like this. Information about the state of the patient may be important in how the DA charges. Certainly some information may be important forensically.

      Most likely what happened is that a couple of days after the shooting, nothing was oozing out of his brain. So the hospital sent him home, where he was being treated by the local “call when when you get nudged by a car” doctor.

    Annie in reply to tom swift. | May 15, 2014 at 11:41 pm

    Had Coulter filed a civil lawsuit yet? I could see some “healthcare providers” agreeing to falsify his medical status for a cut of a potentially large judgment.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to tom swift. | May 15, 2014 at 11:48 pm

    No doctor, “medical provider”, etc., can release a patient’s medical information, condition, etc., without a formal written release. Since scumbag is a minor, such a release would have to come from his custodial parent.

    The custodial parent was either planning to play the ghetto lottery OR they were using it as a means of preventing the prosecutor from going forward with the burglary trial that had already been scheduled for a date just a few days after scumbag was shot.

    Or both. Either way, it was not in scumbag’s family’s interest for the truth of scumbag’s condition to be known so obviously they weren’t going to sign a release. The prosecutor would have to get a court order or send a limited administrative demand for the information. Then how would that look at trial? The GJ could also subpoena it, but it doesn’t appear they were looking for more information, seeing as how the prosecutor presented such an “in-depth and thorough case” to the GJ and all that good stuff.

      Gremlin1974 in reply to JackRussellTerrierist. | May 16, 2014 at 2:31 pm

      Not true in cases involving a crime, though we (we = I have 20 years as a Nurse) do need an order from the court to release the records. The DA should have had no trouble getting the records.

        JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Gremlin1974. | May 16, 2014 at 4:00 pm

        That’s what I said. I guess you didn’t read my entire post.

        If the parent(s) won’t sign a release, the DA can send an administrative demand or get a court order.

          Gremlin1974 in reply to JackRussellTerrierist. | May 17, 2014 at 10:29 pm

          Oh, sorry. it was late when I wrote that. Yea, the DA is completely at fault for not knowing the kids actual condition, he could have easily been updated or had a legal assistant keep him updated.

The prosecutor was surprised that the chronic criminal and his family lied about his physical condition? LOL. This prosecutor needs to get out more.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Observer. | May 16, 2014 at 12:03 am

    All he wants is to get re-elected. That’s why he’s emphasizing that he was lied to about scumbag’s medical condition. He doesn’t want the “African-American Community” to get so bent out of shape about the charges against Landry being dropped that they don’t vote for him, so he threw the doctor under the bus so the blacks won’t think he’s only blaming scumbag and his parent(s) for the loss of the case.

    The prosecutor must have been getting some pressure from somewhere to formally announce dropping it because he could have just let it drift on in legal limbo, not ever taking it back to another GJ.

    At least this way some of the electorate will (stupidly) think he’s a good guy for doing the ‘right thing’.

Following Coulter’s most recent burglary arrests, any case that this office had against Landry was irreversibly damaged.

Why is that?

We don’t know what the DA’s case to the GJ was, but unless it hinged on doubt that Coulter was actually a burglar or home invader, and that somehow Landry’s shot was therefore not clearly justified, any evidence that he is indeed a career criminal wouldn’t have any significance for the Landry case.

Or was the DA hoping to get a conviction based not on the facts of the case but on some sob-sister story about Poor Little Trayvon Lite, unjustly shot while trying to steal Skittles? And, faced with the difficulty of pushing that story in light of Coulter’s subsequent activities, he wimped out?

Or is Louisiana such a weird state that shooting someone in the head and causing “irreparable” physical damage is a prosecutable crime, but shooting him in the head and causing more minor, recoverable damage is not a crime at all?

    Exiliado in reply to tom swift. | May 15, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    I’ll go with the second option.

    I wonder how many unlucky defendants have been convicted on emotion over facts. Seems to be a trend these days.

      Another Ed in reply to Exiliado. | May 21, 2014 at 10:24 am

      “…How many unlucky defendants have many convicted on emotion over facts”?

      One Florida case that comes to mind is elderly retiree Trevor Dooley, convicted of first degree murder for firing a pistol after being tackled by a thirty years younger retired Air Force Spec Ops non-com veteran, David James. James was shot in front of his eight year old daughter. Dooley pocket carried a pistol, and witnesses claimed that he brandished the pistol by raising his shirt before he walked away and was tackled by David James. David James’ daughter never saw the pistol that was allegedly brandished, even though she was the closest to David James. The basketball court at the center of the case was owned and maintained by the homeowner association, not the county, so that all homeowners were financially responsible for upkeep and the conduct of their guests using the park facilities. Calling the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office to report a problem of a skateboarder misusing the park facilities would have had little effect because it was a violation of HOA rules, not county or state law.

      http://tbo.com/news/defendant-says-he-killed-serviceman-in-self-defense-362215

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to tom swift. | May 16, 2014 at 12:11 am

    This case was sort of Duke lacrosse-lite, and went the same way. The difference is that this prosecutor knew when to quit.

    For all we know, this prosecutor DID indeed know scumbag was up and doing just fine. For a number of reasons, based on my experience, it’s not believable to me that he didn’t know.

    this case was initially hyped as your option 2. It was always very clear cut that no charges should be laid. Coulter was on private property… and the gate was closed.

Translation = No chance of winning no chance of big press exposure. IOW time to drop it and move on.

Political careers are at stake …. don’t you know?

Oh the cruelty! How could this Noble Son of Obama, and follower of St. Trayvon of Skittles, be denied justice? could it be just because of a few minor peccadilloes? RACISSSS!! PALIN!!! KOCH BROTHERS!!

DouglasJBender | May 15, 2014 at 7:08 pm

Maybe Coulter was miraculously healed, but was overcome with a lingering burglary-walking condition due to his head injury.

Gremlin1974 | May 15, 2014 at 7:29 pm

Andrew, thanks for the update. I think it is interesting that the prosecutor was suggesting that they even had a case to be “irrecoverably harmed” in the first place. I mean they couldn’t get a bill on this after 2 attempts, then most likely they didn’t have a case at all and were just waiting for something to happen so they could bow out. Now the kid has done that for them.

Also, I really expected the Walker trial to be delayed or have come to some mediated end by now. This one could be a real interesting one to keep track of in the coming weeks. I think it will probably come down to whether Walker can convince the jury that he was truly afraid.

    “were just waiting for something to happen so they could bow out. Now the kid has done that for them.”

    ^^^^This^^^^

    Re: the Walker case, I think it’s really hard to understand the most likely scenario unless you’re a cop (I’ve never bee one), or spend a great deal of time with cops (I do).

    I expect that Walker anticipated that he could let Harvey get just SO close, then show his badge and gun, and Harvey would back off. Either Harvey didn’t back off, and Walker felt compelled to shoot to defend himself, wife, and children, or perhaps Walker jerked at the trigger (the would placement supports this possibility) and actually shot Harvey accidentally (which, of course, in the context of a handgun is pretty much criminal negligence).

    If Walker was going to have a jury of cops, he’d be just fine.

    But he won’t. He’ll have a jury of non-cops. In Maryland. With unfavorable facts and law.

    I don’t expect a positive outcome for him.

    The 1st degree murder charge, however, is offensive.

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      Gremlin1974 in reply to Andrew Branca. | May 15, 2014 at 8:23 pm

      Actually poor trigger discipline is something that I have brought up before. I mean a fair number of cops go their whole service without ever having to draw, much less shoot in the line of duty. With Walker, especially working for the prosecutor he probably didn’t have any real cause to draw his gun. He could have hit the trigger by accident and bounced a round up into Harvey’s leg.

        tom swift in reply to Gremlin1974. | May 15, 2014 at 8:36 pm

        The additional shots then become hard to explain. Did Walker hit Harvey with a ND, then finish him off to disguise the ND?

          Gremlin1974 in reply to tom swift. | May 15, 2014 at 9:22 pm

          I will be honest I have no idea what you mean by “ND”, lol. I am betting the “D” means Discharge, but I am just stuck on the “N”.

          The follow up shots could have been a stress reaction and or training kicking in finally. I don’t know. Honestly, the only person who can answer that is Walker. I don’t think there was anything malicious about the follow up shot(‘s), but I never count out an “Oh Sh*t” reactions either.

          The “N” would be “negligent.” ND = negligent discharge.

          I have people call me who’ve experienced an ND and are getting criminally prosecuted–with no personal injury having occurred whatever.

          –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

          tom swift in reply to tom swift. | May 15, 2014 at 10:49 pm

          what you mean by “ND”, lol

          Oh, sorry, Negligent Discharge. I vaguely recall it coming up in the previous threads about this case, but could be wrong.

          It used to be called AD, for “Accidental Discharge”, but I think the newer term is more accurate, so I use it. In the good ol’ days it was a subset of “Oops, I didn’t know it was loaded”.

          When reading the witness statements in the Walker case, I tried to envision scenarios which would fit their descriptions. And one scenario was Walker waiting for Harvey to approach, perhaps intending to chase him off when he was nearer by displaying his gun and badge. But he screwed up and fired the gun as he was raising it, instead of merely displaying it. This seems to have been the bullet which hit Harvey in the leg, and was eventually the cause of death by exsanguination. But Walker didn’t know then that Harvey was already as good as dead; he improvised, and shot Harvey deliberately so that instead of facing a negligent injury charge for the ND, he could plausibly claim a self-defense situation.

          Just speculation, of course, but finding a scenario which fits the witness stories well is tricky.

        Gremlin1974 in reply to Gremlin1974. | May 15, 2014 at 11:30 pm

        @Tom Swift

        Yea, I was actually one of the one’s who was offering those idea’s of an ND (Love learning new terms). Though I could actually see it as Walker attempting to fire a multi-round burst, say 2 to 3 shots and just not controlling the gun well enough.

        Proper shooting should be (very basically) Raise weapon, acquire site picture, front post on target, squeeze trigger. Which takes probably 1-2 1/10’s of a second for a non-competition shooter like me.

        Under stress, whether that is pissed or scared, on a dark road he may just have squeezed a bit to early. Which would be especially easy if he had a modified or match grade trigger.

        Also we have to remember that just because he is a cop doesn’t mean he follows safety procedures. He probably already had his finger on the trigger, “yanked” the gun up and a round went off early, the follow up rounds may have just been part of the “burst”. Now I don’t remember if their was ever a real answer on how much time elapsed between shots so we would need to know that as well.

        JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Gremlin1974. | May 16, 2014 at 1:57 am

        Investigators for prosecutors have to qualify to a standard. Some departments require it quarterly, some semi-annually, some annually.

        I agree that Walker, as a DA investigator, would be less likely to find himself in a position of drawing his weapon than a street cop or even a deputy sheriff would, the standard qualifications would be the same as would the range time requirement and any continuing training required.

        If Harvey had a weapon of ANY kind, I might buy a trained, sworn peace officer getting a bit twitchy, but not with Harvey standing with arms outstretched.

        There was no reason for Walker to let Harvey come that close unless he wanted a killing shot. Walker could have called 9-1-1 any time and left or not stopped, and certainly not have waited for Harvey to traverse that kind of distance if he was scared of an unarmed man while he, himself, was armed.

        You don’t pull over unless you want a fight or to spring your weapon on somebody you easily could have fled from, then try to tell the cops you pulled over because the sound of RUMBLE STRIPS made you think you had a flat tire, and then try to get someone to believe that a trained peace officer let a guy ALREADY pulled over in plain sight AHEAD of him walk up on him all that distance and not see him until he was 10′ away – close enough to fire at least one killing shot among four rounds fired and close enough to claim self-defense.

        Good gawd, what a load.

        It’s no wonder the charges were advanced to M1.

      Gremlin1974 in reply to Andrew Branca. | May 15, 2014 at 11:34 pm

      Andrew, do you see the defense trying a “He was following his training and procedures” defense?

      I know the motion to dismiss was denied, but it will be interesting to see what kind of defense they attempt to mount.

      I am with you, I don’t see this going well for Walker. I see the prosecution as going for the “Rogue, out of state, cop” approach and the jury will just eat that up.

      JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Andrew Branca. | May 16, 2014 at 12:20 am

      I don’t find the M1 charge the least bit offensive. I think this was a case of a cop premeditating a murder rather poorly because he was in a fit of rage at the time.

        Well, sure, if you believe it was a premeditated killing, M1 _would_ make sense.

        I’ve heard enough from NJ LEOs who’ve worked with Walker over the years to think it unlikely that was the case–he simply doesn’t seem to have that kind of temperament.

        Very, very poor judgment seems to me far more likely. Of course, for most normally law-abiding people a M2 or manslaughter conviction is effectively as life-destroying as a murder conviction. With the lesser convictions you just have some prospect for freedom many years after the destruction of your life as you knew it.

        But the State has charged M1, so I suppose we’ll get to hear their case for it.

        –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

        Something like that seems to me consistent with at least some of the eyewitness accounts. The implication is premeditation, and that perhaps makes the M1 charge reasonable.

        But consistency is a long way from proof beyond a reasonable doubt, and the trial hasn’t even started yet. The witness stories may change radically under cross, the Pope may appear as a character witness for Walker, just about any damn thing could happen before Walker runs out of money.

          JackRussellTerrierist in reply to tom swift. | May 16, 2014 at 4:11 pm

          All very true. We don’t know what will happen at trial. I’m simply giving my opinion as to what happened based on all the information Andrew has made available and my experience in criminal investigations, along with what I know about cops, their thought processes and their M.O.s.

        Gremlin1974 in reply to JackRussellTerrierist. | May 16, 2014 at 2:45 pm

        No, I think Murder 1 is a gross overcharge. I can get to Murder 2 very easily. But I think in MA of they charge Murder 1 then you can be convicted of the lesser charges instead by the jury.

        I agree with Andrew, Walker just exercised remarkably poor judgement. I will make the prediction of a final outcome of Manslaughter, of the Voluntary variety. I have no idea what the prison term is for such a conviction, but like Andrew said, it will still mean the destruction of Walkers life.

          In MD the jury will be permitted to consider lesser included charges.

          In most states voluntary manslaughter is good for up to 15 years. Many states also have firearms enhancements, Florida’s 10-20-Life being the most infamous. I don’t recall off-hand if MD has anything like that, but I have a vaguest recollection that they do.

          No priors, career LEO, good behavior, blah, blah, blah, maybe serve 5-7, then controlled release for several years to follow. That’s on manslaughter.

          Obviously murder 2 would be much worse, and murder 1, well, forget it, start yourself a new life altogether. That old one is done.

          –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

          JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Gremlin1974. | May 16, 2014 at 4:16 pm

          I wasn’t talking about the outcome of the trial. I was talking about what I think actually took place. Very often, what actually happened and what comes out in a trial are two different things. Further, juries are completely unpredictable.

    amatuerwrangler in reply to Gremlin1974. | May 16, 2014 at 1:09 am

    The prosecutor had to stay with the “we have a case” approach. After, what, a year, of investigation and runs at the Grand Jury and coming up empty twice… If they were to just come out and say something like “we didn’t have the case we thought we did” some enterprising lawyer might want to separate the prosecutor and/or the prosecutor’s office of some moola for leaving Mr. Landry twisting slowly in the wind when they knew long ago the case would not fly. Couple that with not even having solid evidence of the true nature of the damage done, if any.

    Landry lost his job, lost his bail bond premium and most likely some standing in the community; it would not look good to find out now that there was no legal reason for all that. Coulter saved the prosecutor some grief.

    It is also interesting that Coulter’s family was willing to hide his true health situation and by doing so set a man up for a conviction and time in prison…unjust all of it. They appear to be of a group of citizens who complain about a lack of justice, but when they get a chance to do right, they opt out. Just like Trayvon’s people did in hiding his assaultive nature and criminal past. A pattern maybe??

      tom swift in reply to amatuerwrangler. | May 16, 2014 at 10:17 am

      Landry lost his job

      The Times-Picayune says he’s still working for the city.

      Gremlin1974 in reply to amatuerwrangler. | May 16, 2014 at 2:46 pm

      Actually, last I checked Landry still had his job and since the prosecutors dropped the case he will probably get his bond premium back.

        JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Gremlin1974. | May 16, 2014 at 4:19 pm

        I think I pointed out to you on the last Landry thread that Landry didn’t pay a bond premium. The Court allowed Landry to secure his court appearances as required with the title to his (or his mother’s?) property.

        JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Gremlin1974. | May 16, 2014 at 4:29 pm

        Who gives back a bond premium? You must be thinking of bail actually posted directly to the Court by a defendant. In some cases, they’re allowed to post 10%, but that’s not a bond premium because it’s paid to the Court, not a BONDSMAN. If the suspect can’t afford the bail or intends to skip town, he can probably get a bail bondsman to post the bail, with the bondsman charging the suspect a premium which must be paid before the bondsman will post the bail to the Court to spring the defendant.

          Gremlin1974 in reply to JackRussellTerrierist. | May 17, 2014 at 10:35 pm

          Yea, I actually worded that very poorly, I meant that he would get the title to the property cleared or whatever happens in those cases. This is the first I have ever heard of that kind of bond.

        amatuerwrangler in reply to Gremlin1974. | May 18, 2014 at 3:52 am

        From Andrew’s original post on Mr. Landry in July,2013:
        “Landry has been charged with attempted second degree murder. His bond was set to $10,000; he posted bond late Friday afternoon. Landry works for the City of New Orleans as a building inspector. The city says he has been placed on emergency suspension without pay pending the outcome of this case.”

        “Posted bond” may mean something other than posted bond when dealing with LA courts, but out west it means someone posted a bond, and bonds usually require a fee being paid to the bonding company as well as security pledged to the bonding company to cover the eventuality that the bondee skips. Its a business transaction between the bonding company and the arrested person. Cash bail posted with the court is refunded when appearances are no longer required, and bonds are exonerated in those cases. The latter means the bonding company is no longer at risk; the money paid to the bonding company for the bond remains the bonding company’s money.

        There may also be a difference between “losing one’s job” and being put on suspension without pay, but from a financial standpoint it is a distinction without a difference; financial hardship was imposed on Mr. Landry.

You think coulters family will get charged for their subterfuge?

    You silly goose. 🙂

    –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      lol that would be racist 🙂
      course if I lied to a DA, even on the prosecution side, I’d be in trouble.
      they told everyone he was disabled knowing he was still robbing people, aiding and abetting type of crap.

        Gremlin1974 in reply to dmacleo. | May 15, 2014 at 9:25 pm

        I hate to say it but they may have been running that line to get donations out of folks. I have seen it happen before. I once had a church try to give me a donation to give to a patients family, and it was a large donation. The problem was the patient had been out of my facility for more than 3 weeks and had walked out on his own accord.

          JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Gremlin1974. | May 16, 2014 at 12:36 am

          ….as well as keeping little scumbag out of the kiddie hoosegow. You might recall that little scumbag was scheduled for a trial on another burglary set for a date just a few days after he was shot AND there was another warrant out for his arrest for break-in/gun theft case when he was just thirteen. As long as he remained ‘vegetative’ and ‘brain-damaged’, he was free from trial and arrest on the warrant. And the money would flow from public funds, churches, pro-black do-gooder and gun-grabber groups.

          Little scumbag and his parent(s) had nothing to win and everything to lose by making his true condition known.

          And, as long as scumbag was supposedly vegetative, the prosecutor had the opportunity to try a high-profile case – glory, adulation, re-election. No wonder he didn’t demand the medical records. But, unlike Mike Nifong, this prosecutor figured out that once the public knows what a lying scumbag his ‘victim’ is, it’s time to quit.

          In addition, there are victim’s funds (public money) and ‘sympathy’ freebies doled out to these people.

          well I wouldn’t doubt that. maybe they suspected they may need the $$ to pay off their fines of DA ever manned up and nailed them for lying 😛 🙂
          seems to me, and this is based on very little info so take it with grain of salt, this is a family of grifters.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to dmacleo. | May 15, 2014 at 8:09 pm

    Wouldn’t be worth the taxpayers time or money.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to dmacleo. | May 16, 2014 at 12:23 am

    Never in a 100,000,000 years. This kind of grafter never pays the price. They were born with the “Get out of responsibility” card.

I’m wondering if this is a fig leaf the prosecutor is using to get out of the case since the grand jury could not bring back a finding. Now that Coulter and family have exhibited some level of deceit, whatever value they had as witnesses disappeared, leaving in this case Landry innocent by presumption and default.

If Coulter had been actually as injured as was believed and still charged for the older burglary, what are your thoughts? Just seems that the killer factor (No pun intended) here was the lying not the burglary.

I don’t know if the prosecution was purely political or not, certainly it was always borderline. State of mind counts, and it’s hard to cast doubt on the defendant’s account of his own unless he is a proven liar.

But yes, dropping the case outright might have had political ramifications. Other prosecutors have, unfortunately, preferred to let suspects linger in limbo for long periods of time to allow public sentiment to cool off with its passage rather than seek to serve the cause of justice directly.

    Gremlin1974 in reply to Estragon. | May 16, 2014 at 12:08 am

    Which is probably what was happening here, but then the kid gave them a perfect out and the DA took it.

    JackRussellTerrierist in reply to Estragon. | May 16, 2014 at 1:24 am

    DA Cannizzaro is a Dixiecrat-type ‘rat. The ‘rat plantation overlords did a good job of getting out the black vote for him.

    He’s gotta keep pimpin’ the black vote. I find it literally incredible that he didn’t know Coulter was spry as ever. He’s got a staff of investigators and a neighborhood full of people who talk and talk, word on the street, a cop sure to spot him, etc.. This was a major case. Gimme a break. He knew. I think he didn’t want anyone to know he knew and just wanted Coulter to keep a low profile so he wouldn’t have to call him as a witness if he ever got an indictment against Landry. A picture of a very young man in a semi-vegetative state is MUCH better trial fodder in a weak case than a little scumbag you have to haul over from juvie detention to testify.

MouseTheLuckyDog | May 16, 2014 at 1:56 am

“There were two witnesses to the events in question. Landry. And Coulter. ”

No. There were three. Coulter’s accomplice. Though we don’t know how much he actually saw.

MouseTheLuckyDog | May 16, 2014 at 2:50 am

Will the family be charged with obstruction of justice?

Richard Aubrey | May 16, 2014 at 7:52 am

FWIW. WRT flat time. The other day, a front disc brake crapped out, froze the wheel and stuck part of the mechanism through the tire’s sidewall. Hell of a noise. Fortunately, my wife was backing out of the garage. The mechanic said, as they frequently do, that it could have been worse. Last case he had, the brake part carved the tire all the way around.
Point is, we don’t know what Walker thought about flat-tire noises and having one or another experience with them besides just slowly running out of air is going to get his attention.
So, yeah, rumble strips is a tough sell, but insisting the guy couldn’t have wondered about the tire is not honest.

It’s just too bad that Landry didn’t get off a 2nd shot, or aim the 1st more accurately. After all, dead men tell no lies.

Headlines:

Prosecutor Fails to Get Ham Sandwich Indicted.

Reveals Anger at Family for Exposing His Gullibility/Racism.

Up and Coming Burglar and Home Invader’s Career Nipped in the Bud.

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