NEW ORLEANS -- A 14-year-old shot on a Marigny homeowner's property remained in critical condition Monday.
The man who admitted to shooting him, 33-year-old Merritt Landry, bonded out of jail Friday after police arrested him on a charge of attempted second degree murder.
A legal expert says Louisiana has a very strong "stand your ground" law that could come into play in this case.
“All I know is that Merritt had told his family that he had said, 'Freeze!' and it looked like the guy turned at him and had his hand on his hip. Who knows?" said Landry’s neighbor, Charles Hazouri.
Arrest documents said Merritt Landry told police he approached 14-year-old Marshall Coulter from his front yard near his vehicle.
The police narrative in the arresting documents says, "…the victim made a thwarted move as if to reach for something."
And that's when Landry fired one shot, hitting Coulter in the head.
“It's really gonna boil down to whether this shooting was done in self defense,” said Loyola Law Professor Dane Ciolino.
According to Ciolino, that's how Louisiana's stand your ground law could come into play.
“Louisiana has a very strong stand your ground law, which means you have no duty whatsoever to retreat and the jury is not even permitted to consider the possibility of retreat,” he said.
The way the state's laws are written, where Landry and Coulter were standing has a big impact on the case. Louisiana's laws are easier on someone who shoots an intruder trying to break into their house.
Police said court documents in the case that the shell casing was found 30 feet away from the victim's blood.
“The state would argue that the distance between the victim and Mr. Landry that there was no necessity for the use of this force,” Ciolino continued, “Mr. Landry would argue no doubt that you can have 30 to 40 yards or feet between yourself and another person, but if that person has a gun, that space really is insignificant.”
In the meantime, the district attorney's office still has to screen the case and decide whether to charge Landry, and what to charge him with.
Landry's attorneys said he feels terrible about what happened, but that they're convinced he will be exonerated of any wrongdoing as facts come to light in the case.
Landry's bond was officially set at $100,000. He's been out on bond since Friday night.