Press Releases

New Orleans East middle school instructor pleads guilty to sexually assaulting boy

May 20, 2019
District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office on Monday (May 20) secured the guilty plea of a former New Orleans East middle school music teacher who inappropriately touched a young boy in his classroom. Christopher Winston pleaded guilty as charged to indecent behavior with a juvenile under the age of 13. Criminal District Judge Camille Buras sentenced Winston, 30, to 44 months…
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Text of DA Cannizzaro’s Juvenile Crime action plan speech

May 16, 2019
District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro on Thursday (May 16) expressed condolences for the murder of Mrs. Zelda Townsend last week and proposed an eight-point plan to combat New Orleans’ juvenile crime problem. Here is the complete text of his press conference speech: I’ve asked you here today because last week’s senseless murder of Zelda Townsend cannot be lost to the passage…
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Quintel Morgan indicted for February murder in Pines Village neighborhood

May 16, 2019
District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office on Thursday (May 16) secured a murder indictment against a man accused of fatally shooting another man three months ago in New Orleans East. Quintel Morgan was charged with the second-degree murder of 20-year-old Jawan Bradley in the indictment handed up by an Orleans Parish grand jury. Morgan, 26, faces a mandatory lifetime prison sentence…
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Yohon Vernon indicted for first-degree rape of woman in New Orleans hotel

May 16, 2019
District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office on Thursday (May 16) secured a first-degree rape indictment against an Arkansas man accused of sexually assaulting a woman in a New Orleans hotel in March. Yohon Vernon, 44, faces a mandatory lifetime prison sentence if convicted of the charge. Vernon was arrested on March 2, 2019, the same day a 23-year-old woman reported to…
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Michael Roberts Jr. indicted for January murder of Lawrence Varnado in Algiers

May 16, 2019
District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office on Thursday (May 16) secured a murder indictment against a man accused of fatally shooting another man behind an Algiers apartment building in January. Michael Roberts Jr., 27, is charged with the second-degree murder of 29-year-old Lawrence Varnado and with obstructing justice in a homicide investigation in the two-count indictment handed up by an Orleans…
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DA Cannizzaro proposes 8-point action plan to reduce juvenile crime in New Orleans

May 16, 2019
District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro on Thursday (May 16) proposed an eight-point plan aimed at reducing violent and habitual juvenile crime in New Orleans. The DA’s proposals follow the tragic murder of Zelda Townsend, a 63-year-old wife and grandmother who was fatally shot the night of May 8 when she and her husband investigated a car alarm and encountered an armed…
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Lavar Butler pleads guilty, gets 60 years for killing Subway sandwich shop owner

May 13, 2019
District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office on Monday (May 13) secured a guilty plea and 60-year prison sentence for a man who fatally shot a Gentilly sandwich shop owner during a botched armed robbery attempt in December 2017. Lavar Butler, 22, averted his scheduled murder trial Monday by pleading guilty to an amended charge of manslaughter and guilty as charged to…
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Christopher White indicted for October 2018 murder in French Quarter

May 9, 2019
District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office on Thursday (May 9) secured a murder indictment against a man accused of shooting at two men parked in the French Quarter last October, killing one. Christopher “Chachi” White is charged with the second-degree murder of 33-year-old Charles Lee and the attempted second-degree murder of a 30-year-old man who was the passenger in Lee’s car.…
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Sex offender Enoch James sentenced to 35 years after guilty plea to child rape

May 8, 2019
District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office on Wednesday (May 8) secured a guilty plea and 35-year prison sentence for a previously convicted sex offender who raped one young child and sexually assaulted another while on probation in New Orleans in 2017. Enoch M. James, 39, avoided a potential life sentence by entering into a plea agreement with the state that spares…
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No prison for ex-Orleans deputy after pleading guilty in jail contraband case

May 8, 2019
District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office on Wednesday (May 8) secured the felony conviction of a former Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office deputy caught smuggling illicit drugs and tobacco to a paying inmate at the former Orleans Parish Prison jail in 2015. Rubin Robertson, 31, pleaded guilty as charged to malfeasance in office and four counts of distribution of marijuana. As part…
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