A Tennessee man who was arrested in New Orleans for carrying a modified machine gun on the city’s famed Bourbon Street has had his case dropped by an awake prosecutor from the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s office.
Keaton Manghave, is one of 15 people arrested during Mardi Gras in Crescent City last week who have had their charges dropped.
The decision to drop the cases was made by Assistant District Attorney Emily Maw.
Ma, who now heads the civil rights division, previously worked for Innocence Project New Orleans for 16 years before transferring to the district attorney’s office two years ago.
She refused to go forward with the charges on the condition that the weapons seized from those arrested are not returned to them, according to Fox8Live.
15 people arrested during Mardi Gras in Crescent City last week had their cases and gun charges dropped
New Orleans District Attorney Jason Williams, right, said Assistant Prosecutor Emily Maw, left, has wrongfully decided to drop prosecutions on more than a dozen cases of illegal gun possession resulting from arrests made during Mardi Gras season in exchange for the suspects agreeing to surrender their weapons
Orleans Parish District Attorney Jason Williams saw Maw erroneously drop prosecutions on more than a dozen counts of illegal gun possession resulting from arrests made during Mardi Gras season in exchange for the defendants agreed to surrender their weapons
Manghave, in particular, had been charged with unlawful possession of a machine gun and illegal carrying of weapons.
Officers saw Manghave walking around with a rifle and later discovered that the rifle had been converted into a fully automatic weapon.
Despite the egregious nature of the alleged crimes, Maw declined to prosecute the case along with 14 others.
Orleans Parish District Attorney Jason Williams has since distanced himself from the decision calling the attorney’s actions “inappropriate and unrepresentative of office policy.”
Williams has committed to conducting an internal review and taking appropriate action to prevent similar incidents in the future.
In a statement released Thursday, Williams said Maw, who was appointed to review the cases during the magistrate’s first appearances on Tuesday, deviated from the office’s standard practices, which include a “thorough screening process” for each charge.
It was not immediately clear whether authorities could choose to resume prosecution of the suspects.
Despite the egregious nature of the alleged crimes, Maw along with 14 others refused to prosecute the case.
Detective Louis Martinez Jr. of the New Orleans Police Department, next to New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell, NOPD Interim Superintendent, Michelle Woodfork, Louisiana State Police Colonel Lamar Davis, right, walk along with other members of law enforcement, NOFD and EMS down Bourbon Street just after midnight ceremoniously closing Mardi Gras
Police are investigating the scene of a shooting during the Krewe of Bacchus parade last Sunday. Five people were shot, including a young girl, during a Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans, police say
The statement said Williams had ordered “a comprehensive internal review” of the matters and that his office was taking “appropriate corrective action to prevent similar illicit activity in the future.”
The decisions of Maw, who was a close ally of Williams in his campaign to introduce reform in the district attorney’s office, were gripped by Williams’ critics, who have since questioned the results of his progressive policies. in the middle of a wave of violent crime. making New Orleans the murder capital of the US.
The former director of Innocence Project New Orleans, Maw, who was educated in Edinburgh, was a longtime advocate for wrongfully incarcerated people before being taken to the district attorney’s office by Williams in 2021 to challenge the newly created civil rights department of to run his office.
Her office had been tasked with investigating cold cases, reducing sentences handed down by non-unanimous juries and overturning wrongful convictions.
Her appointment was one of a number of moves by Williams in line with his progressive philosophy on the criminal justice system, but as homicides, carjackings and violent carjackings have increased over the past two years, Williams has backtracked on a number of policies, including a pledge not to accuse young people as adults.
Year-to-date crimes show 2023 is even worse than 2022
New Orleans remains a hotbed of crime with homicides looking to break last year’s record
New Orleans overtook St. Louis as the U.S. murder capital in the first half of 2022 as the city grapples with the lowest police personnel in modern history amid a crisis in officer morale.
In the first six months of 2022, New Orleans recorded 41 homicides per 100,000 residents, a higher homicide rate than any other U.S. city, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis of Major Cities Chiefs Association data.
By comparison, the first half homicide rate per 100,000 was 11.5 in Chicago, 4.8 in Los Angeles, and 2.4 in New York City.
According to the nonpartisan watchdog Metropolitan Crime Commission, the city recorded 280 homicides in New Orleans in 2022, the highest single-year homicide rate since 1996. The group says that number equates to about 70 homicides for once 100,000 residents.