Contact: Ken Daley, Public Information
District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office on Tuesday (Feb. 19) secured the guilty plea of a gunman responsible for the 2013 fatal shooting of a Gretna man in Algiers.
Brent Riggins averted his scheduled murder trial and potential life sentence when he agreed to plead guilty to a lesser charge of manslaughter. Riggins, 23, is to receive the maximum prison term of 40 years when Criminal District Judge Darryl Derbigny imposes his sentence on Feb. 20.
Riggins and co-defendant Aaron Thibodeaux were arrested in October 2013, 17 days after being chased down near the scene and questioned about the killing of 18-year-old Jared Hester. Hester was shot 14 times and found dead outside an apartment complex in the 1500 block of Southlawn Boulevard on Oct. 4, 2013. A third person suspected in the killing has not been arrested.
New Orleans police investigators determined through DNA and other physical evidence that while both Riggins and Thibodeaux were at the scene when Hester was slain, Thibodeaux did not fire his gun. Thibodeaux, 23, pleaded guilty Jan. 30 to a reduced charge of accessory after the fact to second-degree murder. That crime carries a maximum five-year sentence.
“I feel for this victim’s family that it has taken so long to see justice realized in this case,” Cannizzaro said. “But in the end, the truth about what happened has prevailed and another confessed killer has been taken off our city’s streets.”
Assistant District Attorneys Sarah Dawkins and Eric Cusimano prosecuted the case.
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