NEW ORLEANS — The case against the 17-year-old accused of shooting and carjacking a man in Uptown New Orleans last July has been dismissed.
According to court records, the case was dismissed after New Orleans District Attorney Jason Williams' office failed to bring formal charges in adult court prior to a court ordered deadline. Williams has said that he plans to appeal the decision.
Kendell Myles, 17, is still incarcerated at the Bridge City Center for Youth on a charge for a separate violent crimes, while his co-defendant in the case, 16-year-old Kayla Smith, is still being held at the youth lockup, according to her attorney, Jerome Matthews.
The duo is accused of shooting and carjacking 59-year-old Scott Toups in July of 2022. Toups was dropping off Mardi Gras beads in a recycling bin in Uptown New Orleans when the two arrived, shot him, and stole his truck. The shooting caused Toups to be placed in intensive care for a month-and-a-half.
Williams wanted to try both juveniles as adults, the first time his office was trying to do so against juveniles for a crime other than murder, but Judge Raymond Bigelow granted the defense's motion to quash the bill of indictment because it was not filed within 30 days of the arrests, as mandated by Louisiana's Children's Code.
“We think we should treat kids like kids," Matthews said. "And these accusations should be dealt with in juvenile court because (Smith) is a juvenile. She's a 16-year-old.”
Myles faced charges of attempted second-degree murder, aggravated flight from an officer and multiple charges related to armed robbery with a firearm.
He was already sentenced to a juvenile life sentence for previous crimes, part of Williams' motivation for trying to move the case out of juvenile court.
Smith faces one count of conspiracy to armed robbery and one count of armed robbery with a firearm.
WWL-TV reached out to the DA's office for comment, but has not heard back as of Saturday night.
Williams did release a statement to our partners at The Times-Picayune | New Orleans Advocate though, saying:
"Charging a juvenile in adult court is a serious decision; in this case, the process to conduct a thorough investigation, review all evidence, and have conversations with the victim and his family was thorough, as we wanted to make sure we made the right decision to ensure appropriate accountability for the defendants."
The DA's appeal will be heard on April 3.