NEW ORLEANS -- Another court hearing Friday brought together the family of Paulette Brown and the man who allegedly killed her while driving drunk.
But for the second time since the 51-year-old NOPD dispatcher was killed in September 2013 the case was postponed. Twenty-eight-year-old Andrew Merchant is charged with vehicular homicide in her death and faces five to 30 years in prison.
Brown's sister, Rhoda, traveled from Dallas hoping for some progress in the case. "I'm pretty upset, but I'm hoping that with the rescheduling that it's actually going to come to an end, and we're going to see some results that we all can all walk away and say justice has been served."
There is talk of a plea bargain to avoid a painful trial, but Brown's family says they do not want Merchant to walk away without facing prison.
"Some jail time,” said Rhoda Brown, “definitely some jail time so he can have time to reflect on the pain that he's caused."
Merchant's attorney, Lindsay Williams, said his client is extremely remorseful and also hopes to avoid a trial. "We're just looking to resolve the matter. Mr. Merchant is hopeful that he'll have the opportunity in court to address the family."
While there have been no formal plea negotiations, a DA's office source said that is expected to happen in the coming weeks.
Merchant is due back in court on Feb. 21 for a pre-trial conference.