2 plead guilty to 2017 ambush killing of teen in New Orleans East
November 4, 2019
For Immediate Release

Contact: Ken Daley, Public Information

District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office on Monday (Nov. 4) secured the guilty pleas of two gunmen who killed a teen in a 2017 ambush attack in New Orleans East.

Pictured above from left, Keaun Jones and Elliot Peters averted their scheduled murder trial when they entered into plea agreements before Criminal District Judge Karen Herman. Each pleaded guilty to an amended charge of manslaughter in the killing of 17-year-old Damian Crockem Jr., and guilty as charged to single counts of attempted second-degree murder and obstruction of justice, in exchange for an expected prison sentence of 30 years.

Herman scheduled the defendants to be sentenced on Tuesday (Nov. 5). Family members of the victim approved of the plea agreement.

Crockem was shot to death in the parking lot of a hotel in the 9300 block of Chef Menteur Highway around 1:55 a.m. on June 13, 2017. A third defendant in the case — 21-year-old Malaiah Marcelin — also was wounded in the legs when the gunmen fired into Crockem’s parked Toyota Camry.

The gunmen fled after being captured on video surveillance cameras dropping the wounded woman at a hospital emergency room. Marcelin eventually admitted she had conspired in the killing and lured Crockem to the location where he was killed. Marcelin pleaded guilty to an amended charge of manslaughter and one count of obstruction on Dec. 18, 2018. She is scheduled to be sentenced in Herman’s courtroom on Nov. 20.

Assistant District Attorneys Arthur Mitchell IV, Kevin Guillory and John Nickel prosecuted the case.