Suspect in French Quarter beating, robbery prepares for first court appearance

The man accused in the brutal beating and robbery of two Boston-area men during the weekend will have his bond set during his first court hearing this morning.

NEW ORLEANS -- The man accused in the brutal beating and robbery of two Boston-area men during the weekend will have his bond set during his first court hearing this morning.

Dejuan Paul, 21, was booked Monday evening on second-degree robbery and drug charges.

The robbery charge stems from his alleged role in the beating and subsequent robbery of James Curran and Tim Byrne, Unitarian Universalist Association information-technology staffers who were in New Orleans for the religious association’s annual meeting.

The men were jumped and mugged by four men about 9 p.m. Saturday in the 200 block of Bienville Street as they walked back to their hotel.

Paul surrendered to police after the New Orleans Police Department released a surveillance video of the vicious attack that left Curran with a fractured nose and sent Byrne to the hospital in critical condition.

In announcing Paul’s arrest, Police Superintendent Michael Harrison said detectives had strong leads on the identities of the three other men seen in the video and urged them to surrender as well before officers went sent out to pick them up.

Paul and his accomplices now face second-degree robbery charges instead of simple robbery because of the severity of the injuries.

State law defines second-degree robbery as taking “anything of value” from someone and inflicting “serious bodily injury.” It goes on to define serious bodily injury as someone being unconscious or in extreme physical pain, among other things.

Anyone convicted of that crime must serve a minimum of three years and no more than 40 years.

Paul has no prior criminal record in Orleans or Jefferson parishes.

WWL-TV investigative reporter Katie Moore contributed to this report.

© 2017 WWL-TV


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