NEW ORLEANS -- An Orleans Parish grand jury has indicted Officer Joshua Colclough for manslaughter for fatally shooting Wendell Allen.
The judge has set a $300,000 bond for Colclough and issued a warrant for his arrest.The indictment comes a day after reported deal with the Orleans Parish District Attorney's Office fell apart.
Superintendent Ronal Serpas issued a statement shortly after the indictment. "With the indictment handed down today, Joshua Colclough will be placed on emergency suspension without pay until the Public Integrity Bureau can determine his suitability for continued employment."
Colclough didn't appear in court Wednesday. He was expected to plead guilty to negligent homicide for shooting death of 20-year-old Allen, and he faced up to five years in prison.
Allen was killed by a single bullet during the execution of search warrant for narcotics at a Gentilly home in March. Allen was not armed at the time.
According to sources, Colclough had a change of heart about the plea deal and felt he didn't do anything wrong. The police organization, PANO, said they support his decision.
"As a police organization, we certainly support this officer's right to go to trial, present his evidence and show why he believed he is not guilty of any crime, whether it be a crime of negligence and certainly not a crime of criminal intent," said Eric Hessler of PANO.
The rejection of the plea deal by Colclough enraged Allen's family and attorney. Attorney Lionel Lon Burns who represents the Allen family said they now want to see Colclough indicted for second degree murder.
Colclough faces up to 40 years in jail if he is convicted.
"We compromised and we're going to allow the officer-- with the DA's guidance and he being a prosecutor-- we had no problem with the officer pleading guilty to negligent homicide," Burns said. "But this case is clearly second degree murder, as I have maintained from the very beginning."
“As I’ve said publicly many times, the loss of life is tragic and affects us all. Our investigators conducted a fair, thorough and transparent investigation into the death of Wendell Allen. Once we had all the facts available to us, we turned them over to the District Attorney’s Office," said Serpas.