DA's office refuses to accept case against Merritt Landry

DA's office refuses to accept case against Merritt Landry

DA's office refuses to accept case against Merritt Landry

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wwltv.com

Posted on May 15, 2014 at 5:21 PM

Updated Thursday, May 15 at 5:21 PM

NEW ORLEANS - The Orleans Parish District Attorney's Office has refused to pursue the case against Merritt Landry.

Landry is the Marigny homeowner who was accused of shooting 14-year-old Marshall Coulter, who had jumped a fence and was in his backyard last summer.

District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro said that the recent arrest of Coulter on burglary charges "irreversibly damaged" any case they might have had against Landry.

"As the District Attorney for the parish of Orleans, I am ethically obligated not to charge an individual against whom I do not possess evidence that proves beyond a reasonable doubt that he committed a crime. Such evidence does not exist in this case," he said in a statement.

Police arrested Landry after the shooting last July. Coulter was unarmed, but Landry contended he was defending his home and family inside.

Landry's attorneys said they were pleased with the decision.

"We just now hope that Mr. Landry and his family can go on with the rest of their lives," said Kevn Boshea.

Attorney Roger Jordan said Landry didn't ever want to be in a position to have to shoot anyone. "When it came to the person that he shot (he said) he prays for him every day."

Coulter was hospitalized for severe head injuries, but recently the teen was arrested on burglary charges.

The shooting of Coulter set off a debate between those who supported Landry's right to protect his family and people who believed the use of deadly force was unnecessary.

A grand jury recently failed to bring charges against Landry and Cannizzaro said that the recent arrests of Landry made it nearly impossible to think that would change now.

"In an effort to obtain an indictment of Merritt Landry, my office presented an in-depth and thorough case to the Grand Jury. They pretermitted the case, which means that nine jurors could not agree to either charge or not charge Landry with a crime. Following Coulter’s most recent burglary arrests, any case that this office had against Landry was irreversibly damaged."

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