Confusion Over Caddo Grand Jury Leads To Clarification From DA
Last week we reported that 5 men had not been indicted for their involvement in homicides in Caddo Parish. At that time, we incorrectly identified the men as being "arrested" prior to the Grand Jury rulings to not indict them. That was not true, we got it wrong.
Caddo Parish District Attorney James Stewart has clarified that these cases were not sent to a Grand Jury through arrests, but from reviews presented by the Shreveport Police Department. Each case involved a death, and District Attorney Stewart has advised that all Caddo Parish homicides will be taken to a Grand Jury as a part of his policy.
In fact, the District Attorney's Office has gone a step further to include the specifics of each case, which are as follows:
"In the first case, on February 8, 2021, a man shot into the victim’s home, left and then returned wearing a ski mask. He kicked in the door and shot one female victim. Her relative then shot the decedent in self-defense of her and other family members present in the home.
In the next case, on March 20, 2021 at approximately 2:20 a.m., a man arrived at the victim’s home. The man began threatening the homeowner to fight. The man then produced a firearm, causing the homeowner to get his firearm and shoot the suspect/decedent to protect himself and several family members.
In the third case, on July 28, 2021 an elderly couple awakened to the suspect/decedent entering their property by jumping over an eight-foot iron fence and crouching by a window. The male resident armed himself and asked the intruder to leave. The intruder then came at the elderly gentleman in an aggressive manner and the man then shot the intruder in self-defense.
The fourth homicide occurred November 28, 2021, and involved a familial custody exchange. The decedent was bringing his child to their mother when he and the mother’s boyfriend had a verbal exchange. They both brandished firearms, shooting each other. The decedent died from his injuries and the other shooter survived. Witnesses said the men shot simultaneously.
The fifth shooting occurred January 7, 2022. The decedent got into a verbal argument and then physically struck the shooter, who then shot once, the bullet striking the decedent. The decedent had previously brandished a firearm before the shooting took place."
District Attorney Stewart's release indicates that he believes the Grand Jury correctly resolved these cases, adding that these homicides have been found to be "justifiable".
As we indicated in last week's story, a Grand Jury is not a criminal court jury, and do not decide the innocence or guilt of an individual. The purpose of the Grand Jury is to establish if there is enough evidence that a crime may have been committed by the individual being presented. Often times, a Grand Jury can indict someone, and they are found innocent during a criminal trial. In this instance, by finding these homicides "justifiable", it was deemed that there was no reason to take the case any further.