NEW ORLEANS -- Nearly six years after a shooting during a home invasion left him incapacitated, and three months after he finally passed away, the Orleans Parish Coroner’s office has determined that Sanford “Bull” Kaynor died from his gunshot wounds.
Kaynor, a successful Uptown attorney, was left paralyzed and unable to speak after being shot in his Uptown driveway in an Oct. 2, 2012 home invasion.
Despite Kaynor’s catastrophic injuries, he lingered for six years, frequently in and out of the hospital. He was 58 when he finally died peacefully at his home on April 19, his wife Grace by his side.
Three men – Byron Johnson, Devante Billy and Charles Carter Jr. – are each serving lengthy prison sentences for their roles in the shooting and home invasion, a crime spree that ended 17 days later with the fatal shooting of UNO student Valan May. Johnson, then 20, and Billy, then 18, are serving 45 and 60 years respectively for their roles in the crimes. Carter, then 16, was convicted at trial and sentenced to life plus 362 years.
While the coroner’s ruling classifies Kaynor’s death a homicide, the district attorney’s office said it has decided not to pursue additional charges in the case.
“We have consulted with Mr. Kaynor’s widow, Grace Kaynor, who has expressed her satisfaction with the sentencing results already achieved and her desire to avoid further court proceedings,” the DA’s spokesman Ken Daley said.
“Out of respect for her position and the needs of her family to move on from this horrific tragedy, we do not anticipate further action against these defendants at this time. However, there is no statute of limitations for murder in Louisiana, so we reserve the right to revisit this decision should changing circumstances warrant it.”
The shooting left Kaynor instantly paralyzed from the waist down. In surgery, his injuries cost him his gall bladder and parts of his liver and intestines. Complications then left him brain-damaged, unable to communicate or care for himself.
Even with around-the-clock nursing care, Kaynor had to be rushed to the hospital at the brink of death more than a dozen times since the shooting.
“Poor Sandy has been near death so many times,” said family friend Michael Harold. “Suddenly Sandy's doing better, then suddenly he's doing worse. It's been a roller coaster ride for the last five years.”
Shortly before he died, Kaynor left the hospital after suffering from major infections. His wife said she was fortunate to be with him during his final moments.
“I was holding his hand and he just let go. He slipped away. He opened his eyes and he looked at me and he just slipped away,” she said.
In addition to his wife, Kaynor left behind a son, Granville, and daughter, Phoebe.
Mike Perlstein can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.