Contact: Ken Daley, Public Information
District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office on Thursday (Aug. 15) secured the guilty plea of a New Orleans man who fatally stabbed a cousin during a 2016 scuffle near the Lakefront Airport.
Sean Newman averted his scheduled murder trial by pleading guilty to an amended charge of manslaughter in connection with the killing of 25-year-old Darnell Ussery on May 16, 2016. Newman, 29, also pleaded guilty as charged to obstruction of justice in the case.
As part of the plea agreement entered before Criminal District Judge Darryl Derbigny, Newman received a state prison sentence of 10 years. The mother of the victim, who lives in Detroit, said she had no opposition to the agreement or sentence.
Ussery had been visiting relatives in New Orleans for about three months before losing his life, New Orleans police said.
The victim was riding in a car with Newman and two other relatives when an argument ensued and turned physical. The car stopped and the fight spilled onto the sidewalk. During the brawl, Newman stabbed his cousin once in the side, then fled alone in the car. Ussery quickly bled to death around 8:40 p.m. in the 7800 block of Shubert Street.
“This was a very tragic and regrettable outcome to what should have been just a minor dispute between family members,” Cannizzaro said. “It is a painful reminder that even the simplest of arguments can escalate and have irreversible consequences if a weapon is introduced. The family members most deeply affected by this incident agreed on a sentencing recommendation they and we considered appropriate under the circumstances.”
Assistant District Attorney Sarah Dawkins prosecuted the case.
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