NEW ORLEANS — Four teenagers charged with second-degree murder in the March 21 carjacking and killing of 73-year-old Linda Frickey made their first appearances in adult court Wednesday, where they all pleaded not guilty.
Members of Frickey’s family were among those in court for the brief court hearing.
Frickey’s sister, Jinny Griffin, said she could barely contain herself in court when she saw the four handcuffed and shackled youngsters. She said her thoughts turned to the “heinous” manner in which her sister died.
Frickey was beaten and dragged from her car in broad daylight. She then got tangled in a seat belt as the car took off. She was dragged about a block, with enough force to tear off her arm. She died at the scene.
“I wish I could have told them, what were you doing?” Griffin said. “What were you doing? What were you thinking? Thirteen blocks? As you can see, I'm mad now. I was mad when I saw them. They killed my sister and they say not guilty?”
The hearing was held in state court after District Attorney Jason Williams decided to transfer the case from juvenile court, where the steepest sentences could have held the defendants until they were 21. Now they face life in prison with parole eligibility after 25 years if convicted as charged of second-degree murder.
“There are some lines you don't cross in a civilized society.” Orleans Parish District Attorney Jason Williams said when he announced his decision to try the teenagers as adults.
The defendants are John Honore, 17, Briniyah Baker,16, Lenyra Theophile,15, and Mar'Qel Curtis,15.
While the female defendants have little or no criminal records, an exclusive WWL-TV investigation revealed that Honore had at least 25 prior charges stemming from seven prior juvenile arrests, including an aggravated burglary case that was transferred to adult court but later dismissed.
Griffin said she is mindful that the families of the teenagers are also hit hard by the case. Two suspects' families were instrumental in turning them in to police.
“I know they have parents and family and stuff, but they chose wrong, they knew what they did, they killed my sister,” Griffin.
Griffin says she will be at every court hearing pushing for justice.
“They killed my sister. And I'm going to tell that to everyone in the world,”
Each of the four defendants is being held on bail of $1 million. Their next court hearing is scheduled for June 3.