Press Releases

DA Cannizzaro statement regarding COVID-19 inmate release motions

March 25, 2020
District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro on Wednesday (March 25) issued a statement in response to ongoing efforts by local public defenders citing the COVID-19 pandemic as basis to seek inmates’ release from Orleans Justice Center detention: “I respect and appreciate the Orleans Public Defenders’ efforts representing incarcerated clients. We agree that non-violent pretrial defendants should not be jailed strictly because of…
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Public records requests suspended during COVID-19 state of emergency

March 16, 2020
The Orleans Parish District Attorney’s office is suspending the intake of new public records requests while closed to the public during the COVID-19 state of emergency declared by public health officials. At present, the office closure is expected to run from March 16-April 13, subject to change. Public records requests will be processed in the order received once our office…
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New Orleans DA announces public office closure in response to court’s COVID-19 shutdown

March 15, 2020
District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro on Sunday night (March 15) announced a temporary public office closure from March 16 through April 13, based upon efforts to curtail the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus that is at the center of a global pandemic. The decision follows that of the Orleans Parish Criminal District Court, which announced earlier Sunday a closure for that…
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Vincent Thomas Jr. pleads guilty to manslaughter in 2017 Treme killing

March 10, 2020
District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office on Tuesday (March 10) secured a guilty plea and 30-year state prison sentence for the gunman responsible for a fatal shooting in the Treme neighborhood in June 2017. Vincent Thomas Jr. averted his scheduled murder trial by pleading guilty to an amended charge of manslaughter in connection with the death of Talmadge Scott Jr. The…
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David ‘Tootie’ Perry pleads guilty to rape, child sex trafficking, gets 30 years

March 10, 2020
District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office on Tuesday (March 10) secured a guilty plea and 30-year state prison sentence for a New Orleans man who raped a 16-year-old girl and trafficked the juvenile runaway for sexual purposes. A jury had been impaneled and was about to hear opening arguments when David “Tootie” Perry chose to forego his scheduled trial and plead…
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Aaron Mitchell convicted of manslaughter in 2018 Upper 9th Ward killing

March 6, 2020
District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office secured a manslaughter conviction early Friday morning (March 6) for a gunman responsible for the fatal shooting of a man inside an abandoned Upper 9th Ward house in 2018. An Orleans Parish jury deliberated five hours before finding Aaron Mitchell guilty of manslaughter and being a felon in possession of a firearm, in a verdict…
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Orleans DA’s office mourns death of investigator Mel Ryan

February 27, 2020
Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro and his staff are mourning the death of veteran investigator Mel Ryan, who passed away Wednesday morning (Feb. 26), four days shy of his 71st birthday. Born Leonard Melvin Ryan II, the native New Orleanian devoted most of his life to serving public safety as a dedicated law enforcement professional. The graduate of Warren…
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Gretna woman indicted for 2017 Uptown murder, fraudulent life insurance claim

February 20, 2020
District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office on Thursday (Feb. 20) secured a murder indictment against a Gretna woman accused of killing an Uptown man in November 2017 to claim a life insurance payout, after she drained the victim’s retirement savings account. Yasha Ayers was charged with the second-degree murder of 65-year-old Darryl Lacoste, obstruction of justice, insurance fraud and bank fraud…
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Luis Rodriguez Jr. indicted for pre-Katrina rape of boy in Algiers apartment

February 20, 2020
District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office on Thursday (Feb. 20) secured a indictment charging a man with the aggravated rape of a young boy inside an Algiers apartment prior to Hurricane Katrina. Luis Rodriguez Jr. was charged with a single count of aggravated rape in the indictment handed up by an Orleans Parish grand jury. Rodriguez, 33, faces a mandatory lifetime…
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Ghost Gang’s Dwight Washington convicted of drive-by double murder

February 14, 2020
District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office late Thursday (Feb. 13) secured a double-murder conviction for a reputed Calliope Ghost Gang member responsible for killing two men and wounding two others in a June 2017 drive-by shooting attack on South Carrollton Avenue. An Orleans Parish jury deliberated five hours before finding Dwight Washington guilty of two counts of second-degree murder, in connection…
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