Contact: Ken Daley, Public Information
District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office on Monday (Feb. 3) secured guilty pleas from two teens responsible for killing a local pastor’s wife during a November 2018 carjacking in Gentilly.
Pictured above from left, 18-year-old Jontrell Robinson and 19-year-old Edwin Cottrell averted their scheduled second-degree murder trial by pleading guilty to amended charges of manslaughter in connection with the death of Jeannot Plessy on Nov. 27, 2018. The defendants also pleaded guilty as charged to attempted second-degree murder, two counts of obstruction of justice, conspiracy to obstruct justice, simple robbery, conspiracy to commit simple robbery, and unauthorized use of a movable.
Criminal District Judge Benedict Willard scheduled sentencing for March 2. But, under terms of a plea agreement already approved by Plessy’s family, Robinson is expected to receive a 30-year state prison sentence and Cottrell a 12-year term for the crimes.
Plessy, 49, had arrived at her adult daughter’s house in the 2400 block of Prentiss Avenue around 8:25 p.m. to pick up two of her preteen children when she was attacked. She was yanked out of her vehicle and thrown to the ground by Robinson, who climbed into the driver’s seat while Cottrell and younger teens waited in a separate stolen minivan. When Plessy’s 33-year-old son-in-law heard screams and tried to intervene, Robinson accelerated the vehicle in reverse, striking both victims and mortally wounding Plessy.
“This tragic case serves as a stark reminder of the quick, violent turns that can take place when young offenders are involved in carjackings, auto thefts and vehicle burglaries,” Cannizzaro said. “These incidents can flip from non-violent to deadly in a split-second, as we have seen when Jeannot Plessy and Zelda Townsend lost their lives. For anyone to dismiss such crime as a ‘nuisance’ disrespects the lives lost and does a disservice to us all.”
Assistant District Attorneys Kevin Guillory and Arthur Mitchell IV prosecuted the case.
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