Contact: Ken Daley, Public Information
District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office on Tuesday (Jan. 28) secured a guilty plea and 15-year state prison sentence for a man responsible for shooting two people — one fatally — last April in the Broadmoor neighborhood.
Kline Lee, 53, averted his scheduled murder trial in the courtroom of Criminal District Judge Karen Herman by pleading guilty to an amended charge of manslaughter, and guilty as charged to additional counts of attempted second-degree murder, obstruction of justice and being a felon in possession of a firearm.
With the plea, Lee admitted responsibility for the double-shooting that left 34-year-old Keyan Watkins dead and a 30-year-old woman injured around 9:18 p.m. in the 3600 block of South Roman Street on April 18, 2018.
According to New Orleans police investigators, a witness said Lee owed a sum of money to Watkins, and was upset after Watkins took his bicycle to settle the debt during a dispute on South Claiborne Avenue. Lee later confronted Watkins and the woman with a gun as they walked the bike toward Watkins’ home.
The plea agreement became necessary after the surviving victim attempted to avoid service of her subpoena and refused to cooperate with the prosecution of the case. Watkins’ family was advised throughout the process of how the case was being hampered by the surviving victim, who was the only witness to the shooting.
Assistant District Attorneys Arthur Mitchell IV, Zach Grate and Kevin Guillory prosecuted the case.
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