Contact: Ken Daley, Public Information
District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office on Friday (Oct. 25) announced it secured double-murder convictions against two gunmen who opened fire on five people, killing two, in the Lower 9th Ward on Mardi Gras 2018.
An Orleans Parish jury deliberated four hours late Thursday night before finding Kendall Barnes and Derrick “Woo” Groves (pictured above, from left) guilty of second-degree murder in the deaths of 26-year-old Jamar Robinson and 21-year-old Byron Jackson.
The defendants will receive a mandatory lifetime prison term for each murder when Criminal District Judge Paul Bonin imposes their sentences on Nov. 13.
Jurors also found the pair guilty as charged on two of three counts each of attempted second-degree murder, in connection with the mass shooting that killed or injured five young men outside a Fat Tuesday party in the 5400 block of St. Claude Avenue at 8:18 p.m. on Feb. 13, 2018.
The defendants were found not guilty on one attempted murder charge. Barnes alone also was found guilty as charged on two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
Barnes, 23, and Groves, 22, opened fire with assault-style rifles on the five victims outside a crowded Mardi Gras party. Three victims were strafed by gunfire as they sat inside a parked Nissan Altima, while two others were wounded while on the sidewalk near the corner of St. Claude Avenue and Andry Street.
“Our community is safer this morning with these two very dangerous and brazen criminals receiving the justice they were due,” Cannizzaro said. “Under my administration, we have taken approximately 700 killers off the streets of New Orleans through successful homicide prosecutions, and our work is not done. I commend our prosecutors and the police investigators for their hard work on this case, and these jurors for their attention and diligence in reaching the proper verdict.”
The defendants face additional legal peril in federal court. U.S. Attorney Peter Strasser’s office in February 2019 charged Barnes and Groves with violations of federal gun and narcotics laws, and Barnes alone with obstruction of justice, in an eight-count indictment handed up by a federal grand jury. That case is still pending.
Assistant District Attorneys Inga Petrovich and Michael Trummel prosecuted the case.
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