Contact: Ken Daley, Public Information
District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office on Tuesday (June 11) secured the guilty plea of a gunman who fatally shot a longtime friend 16 months ago in the 7th Ward.
Cardero Davis averted his scheduled murder trial by pleading guilty to an amended charge of manslaughter, and guilty as charged to being a felon in possession of a firearm. The charges came in connection to the fatal shooting of 39-year-old Donald Dillard Jr. on Feb. 25, 2018.
The plea agreement was approved by the victim’s family and Criminal District Judge Paul A. Bonin, with sentencing within a range of 20 to 40 years in state prison left to the judge’s discretion. After five of Dillard’s family members gave impact statements to the court Tuesday, Bonin imposed the minimum sentence of 20 years.
Davis admitted to New Orleans police that he shot Dillard twice inside a car as they drove in the 1100 block of North Dorgenois Street around 3 a.m.
Davis drove Dillard to University Medical Center, where the victim died. Davis later turned himself in to police, arriving at the NOPD’s 1st District station in blood-soaked clothes and initially claiming he killed Dillard in self-defense.
Dillard’s killer was represented by defense attorney Jason Williams, vice president of New Orleans’ City Council.
Assistant District Attorneys Michael Trummel and Daniel Smart prosecuted the case.
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