NEW ORLEANS — Of the four teenaged defendants who appeared in juvenile court Wednesday after being booked in the fatal carjacking of 73-year-old Linda Frickey, who was dragged to her death Monday afternoon in front of horrified witnesses, 17-year-old John Honore stood out.
Not only because Honore's three co-defendants were 15-year-old females, but because of the number of times he has been in that court over the past several years.
WWL-TV obtained Honore's criminal history showing at least seven prior arrests on more than 25 charges dating back his first arrest for criminal damage to property at age 12.
The charges include armed robbery, possession of a firearm, auto theft, flight from an officer and – in one case alone –18 burglaries related to car break-ins.
Now that Honore is facing a second-degree murder charge, Rafael Goyeneche of the Metropolitan Crime Commission questions how he was allowed to pile up so many arrests in such a short period of time without more serious consequences.
“What you've uncovered does not surprise me,” Goyeneche said when shown the rap sheet. “I would term this offender, based on the documents that you've presented to me, a walking crime wave.”
While the juvenile court system has recently moved in the direction of seeking out alternatives to incarceration, one of Honore's cases –the violent home invasion of a relative in May 2020 – led to his transfer to adult court to face an aggravated burglary charge.
In that case, according to a police report of the incident, a woman was holding her young child when five people – allegedly including Honore – broke into her home and beat her while she was curled up on the floor in a “fetal position.”
Honore’s transfer to adult court was made in 2020 at the request of then District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro. Court records show the case fell apart and was dismissed by current DA Jason Williams in March 2021.
In a videotaped statement, Matt Derbes, the DA's Office chief of trials, explained why prosecutors decided to drop the case.
“The victim was his family member,” Derbes said in the video. “She stated she did not want to cooperate in his prosecution and requested that our office drop the case since the defendant was a relative.”
But while that home invasion case was still pending, the records show that Honore was arrested at least five times while he was supposed to be on home incarceration awaiting trial in adult court. Those cases include the 18 car burglaries in October 2020, an armed robbery and gun charge in December 2020, and possession of a stolen car in October 2021.
“When the police chief gets up and passionately speaks about the fact that they're arresting the same people over and over again,” Goyeneche said, “this is the type of case that resonates with that.”
The outcome of Honore's juvenile cases are not available because of that court's privacy laws to protect young offenders. However, if Honore is brought to adult court on the murder charge in Frickey's death, he faces life in prison if convicted.
Shortly after the juveniles were arrested, Williams issued this statement: “Any and all persons that the evidence shows participated in the murder of this elder will be prosecuted to the absolute fullest extent of the law.”
When asked if that statement means prosecuting the juveniles as adults, the DA’s office responded Thursday that it will wait for the full police report of the fatal carjacking before making that determination.