NEW ORLEANS - Three teen-aged suspects accused in a shocking Garden District gang rape were in court Monday for a high-stakes hearing that could help determine the outcome of their case.
The defendants – Sheldon Jefferson, 15, Joseph Davis, 17, and Christoper Davis, 18 – are accused of forcing a 30-year-old woman into a car at gunpoint, then driving her around for about an hour while two of them sexually assaulted her.
After allegedly stopping at several ATMs to force the victim to withdraw money, the teenagers are accused of pushing her out of the moving vehicle near her home, then stealing her car.
Attorneys for the suspects are trying to get Criminal Court Judge Franz Ziblich to throw out alleged confessions by Jefferson and Christopher Davis. Joseph Davis, no relation, refused to talk to police, his attorney Robert Jenkins said.
New Orleans Police Detective Derrick Williams testified that Jefferson and Christoper Davis, accompanied by their mothers, offered statements identifying and implicating the others in the group.
Williams also said that two guns were recovered after police served search warrants on the suspects’ homes and a car allegedly driven by Christopher Davis.
Ziblich said he will rule next week on whether to suppress the identifications made by the two suspects after he reviews the videotaped statements.
Prosecutors also say they obtained DNA evidence in the case. Jefferson and Joseph Davis, who was 16 at the time of his arrest, are being tried as adults.