Contact: Ken Daley, Public Information
District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office on Thursday (March 21) secured a murder indictment against a 7th Ward man accused of fatally injuring a New Orleans talent promoter while stealing the woman’s purse last December.
Tyrone Fountain, 40, was charged with the second-degree murder of Marla Belin in the indictment handed up by an Orleans Parish grand jury. Fountain faces a mandatory lifetime prison sentence if found guilty as charged.
Criminal District Judge Camille Buras left unchanged Fountain’s $500,000 bond amount after the indictment was read.
An independent witness saw Fountain and Belin, who were acquainted with each other, struggling over the woman’s purse around noon on Dec. 17, 2018. Belin had been walking two dogs in the 1700 block of North Dorgenois Street when she was attacked by Fountain. During the struggle, the witness told New Orleans police, Fountain lifted Belin
and slammed her on the street, struck her head against the pavement multiple times, and punched her repeatedly in the face.
Belin, 55, initially survived the attack and identified Fountain as her assailant. She told detectives in the hospital that she had provided the man with scalp massages to relieve symptoms of epilepsy, but that he became enraged after she refused his sexual advances.
Belin sustained facial and skull fractures and bleeding to her brain. While hospitalized, she slipped into a coma and eventually died 11 days after the attack, at 4:15 p.m. on Dec. 28. The Orleans Parish Coroner’s office determined complications from the severe head trauma incurred during the attack as the cause of her death.
Assistant District Attorney Inga Petrovich presented the case to the grand jury.
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