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Jason Williams' Office releases new statement after charges dismissed against accused Bridge City escapee, carjacker

A judge granted a motion to quash the bill of indictment against 17-year-old Kendell Myles because prosecutors failed to bring formal charges within 30 days.

NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans District Attorney's Office said it plans to fight to the state's Supreme Court if necessary after charges against a youth accused of shooting and carjacking a man were dismissed.

Judge Raymond Bigelow granted the defense's motion to quash the bill of indictment against 17-year-old Kendell Myles on Thursday because prosecutors failed to bring formal charges in adult court within 30 days of the arrests, as mandated by Louisiana's Children's Code.

District Attorney Jason Williams' Office said prosecutors plan to appeal the dismissal.

Myles, along with 16-year-old Kayla Smith, 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 more than a month.

Myles is still incarcerated at the Bridge City Center for Youth on charges of separate violent crimes. Smith is also still being held at the youth lockup, according to her attorney, Jerome Matthews 

Keith D. Lampkin, a spokesperson for the Orleans Parish District Attorney's Office, sent the following statement to WWL-TV on Monday:

“First, these defendants are still in custody and we will endeavor to ensure that remains the case. 

"This a case of being careful rather than careless. We worked systematically to build cases that we could win at trial, which included visiting the victim’s bedside and listening to the wishes of the family during the victim’s incapacity. It is imperative that this matter is handled with the appropriate level of care, in a way that is lasting rather than hasty. We owe it to Scott Toups and the memory of his loving wife to do this right and in a way that offers the best odds of prevailing at trial.

"The system is not set up to be able to make a thoughtful and informed decision within the limited time period. However, the law is clear that even if the State doesn’t to meet this time limit, dismissal of the prosecution is not an appropriate remedy. Therefore, the judge who quashed the indictments in these cases did so in error and we are taking this matter to the Court of Appeal and State Supreme Court if necessary.”  

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.

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.

Scott Toups spoke with WWL-TV over the phone Sunday after learning the case was dismissed.

“I’m hoping they try them as an adult for what these kids did or what this one guy did to me by shooting me twice. It’s just, through all the 71 days I was in ICU and the rehabilitation I’ve been going through for like two months, it’s been getting hectic,” Toups said over the phone Sunday. “With my wife passing away, that didn’t help either.”

Toups said the DA’s office has kept him updated on the case.

“They have been keeping in touch with me about what has been going on with this trial, and they told me a judge turned them down to try them as an adult,” he said.

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