Tuesday, 06 May 2014 18:19

New Crime Shows Coulter-Landry New Orleans Shooting Needs Closure

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CRIME-SCENEMarshall Coulter, the city’s most notorious “professional thief” was back on the job last Friday afternoon in the 2000 block of Royal Street. He was arrested on a burglary charge after removing the homeowner’s key from the mailbox and entering the home.

 

Last July, then 14-year old Coulter was shot in the head by Merritt Landry in the Marigny homeowner’s backyard. The unarmed Coulter had scaled Landry’s fence and was shot when he made a move after being told to “freeze.”

Coulter was never charged with a curfew violation or trespassing. The local media reported that he was severely injured and in need of constant medical care. It was assumed that Coulter was either paralyzed or incapacitated in some way. In reality, he recovered enough to resume his career of crime.

In the meantime, Merritt Landry is in legal limbo, awaiting a decision by an Orleans Parish grand jury as to whether he will be indicted in the case. So far, prosecutors have been unsuccessful in prosecuting the case against Landry. He was initially booked by police on attempted second degree murder charges.

In the aftermath of the high profile incident, Landry had to move from his residence as it became the scene of protests and racial animosity. He lost his job with the City of New Orleans for several months, while incurring legal bills mounting a defense to these charges.

While Coulter escaped charges in the Landry’s incident, he was finally arrested last Friday on charges stemming from a 2012 home invasion. In this case, Coulter illegally entered a home on Frenchman Street and was discovered by a homeowner at 3:30 a.m. After a struggle, Coulter wrestled a gun away from the homeowner and then fled the residence. Fortunately, no one was killed, but the case showed that Coulter is not some angel who was the target of an over-zealous homeowner. 

Coulter is a career criminal at the age of 15 and is obviously receiving no guidance at home or school. His parents need to be held responsible for his continuing string of crimes. It is time for Coulter to remain off the streets and for Merritt Landry to finally have these charges officially dropped.

These new revelations lead to many questions that need to be answered:

  • When did Marshall Coulter make his miraculous recovery from the gunshot wound to the head? Why did no one in the media ever report on his updated medical condition?
  • Why didn't police book Coulter for his crimes in the Landry case?
  • Why did it take two years for police to book Coulter for his 2012 crimes even though there was an outstanding arrest warrant?
  • When is Merritt Landry going to be freed from this ongoing and unfair nightmare that he is living?

Last July, Landry was doing what any good husband and father would do, protecting his family and property. He was confronted by a stranger at 2 a.m. in his backyard, near the rear entrance to his house. His wife was pregnant at the time and his young daughter was inside. He only shot at Coulter after the youngster did not stop and made a threatening move.

In the meantime, Coulter is behind bars and needs to stay there as he is a threat to the community. Sadly, a gunshot wound to the head was not enough to stop Marshall Coulter’s criminal career.

Now it is time for our law enforcement officials to finally do the right thing and charge the only one who has been consistently guilty, Marshall Coulter, and free the man who never did anything wrong, Merritt Landry. This miscarriage of justice has gone on too long.

Jeff Crouere

Jeff Crouere is a native New Orleanian and his award winning program, Ringside Politics,” airs locally at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and at 10:00 p.m. Sundays on PBS affiliate WLAE-TV, Channel 32, and from 7-11 a.m.weekdays on WGSO 990-AM & www.Wgso.com. He is a political columnist, the author of America's Last Chance and provides regular commentaries on the Jeff Crouere YouTube channel and on www.JeffCrouere.com. For more information, email him at [email protected]

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