Louisiana News

Stories and interviews from across the state.

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A court watchdog group says a judge in New Orleans often interferes with criminal defendants' rights to counsel by sharply limiting the time public defenders spend with newly arrested defendants making their first court appearance.

 The criticism of state district court Magistrate Judge Harry Cantrell comes in a report released Wednesday by Court Watch NOLA, which observes and reports on New Orleans' criminal courtrooms.

Call Led To Arrest Of Serial Killer

11 hours ago
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A law enforcement official says a serial killer was arrested in Louisiana last week after he called a sheriff's office and claimed responsibility for a string of shootings that killed three men and wounded a fourth.

 The official, who spoke only on condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing, told The Associated Press that 36-year-old Ryan Sharpe wasn't a suspect in the four shootings until he called the East Feliciana Parish Sheriff's Office last Wednesday and identified himself as the killer.

45-Year-Old Man Murders Infant Daughter

11 hours ago

An 18-month-old is dead following a gruesome murder.  New Orleans Police says the father, 45-year-old Mark Hambrick told police “God made him do it.”  Police Chief Michael Harrison says Hambrick called himself into police several hours after he killed the child.

Hambrick gave a detailed description to police of himself and the child and told them he would be found on his porch when police came on the property.  Harrison says the father remained strangely calm during the arrest.

Man Arrested In Death Of His 18-Month-Old Daughter

11 hours ago
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 A 45-year-old Louisiana man has been arrested and accused of stabbing and suffocating his 18-month-old daughter.

 New Orleans Police say they've arrested Mark Hambrick, of New Orleans, on one count each of second-degree murder and second-degree cruelty to a juvenile. It was unknown if he's represented by an attorney.

 The toddler was found Tuesday, just after 7 a.m., suffering from multiple stab wounds to the body. Detectives learned the victim had also been suffocated. She was pronounced dead on the scene.

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A tiger who was a roadside attraction in Grosse Tete was euthanized.  Tony the Tiger lived at the Iberville Parish Tiger Truck Stop since 2001.  Due to health issues, he was put to sleep on Monday.  Attorney Jennifer Treadway says despite what protesters say, Tony died peacefully and was very loved by his caretakers.

There have been ongoing legal battles between Tony’s owner Michael Sandlin and the Animal Legal Defense Fund.  Sandlin’s attorney Jennifer Treadway says Sandlin plans to get another tiger which he has the proper permit to do so.

Stabbing, Dismemberment Conviction Stands In Louisiana

11 hours ago
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 The Louisiana Supreme Court says it won't hear an appeal from a man convicted of killing a French Quarter dancer and dismembering her body.

 All seven justices initialed the "action sheet" denying the request from Terry Speaks, who is serving life in prison for the 2012 murder of 22-year-old Jaren Lockhart.

 He acted as his own attorney, with another inmate preparing the document.

Funeral Set For Slain New Orleans Police Officer

11 hours ago
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 A Saturday funeral has been scheduled for a New Orleans police officer who was shot to death last week.

 The police department says services for 29-year-old Marcus NcNeil are set for 10 a.m. Saturday at Household of Faith Church in New Orleans, with interment following at Mt. Olivet Cemetery.

 The department says the Marcus McNeil Benefit Fund has been established at Whitney Bank to accept donations for McNeil's family.

 McNeil had a wife and two children. 

The Latest: Prosecutor Predicts Vindication In Lawsuit

11 hours ago
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The New Orleans district attorney is predicting he and his assistants will be vindicated amid allegations that they seek arrest warrants and high bails for witnesses and victims who decline to speak to prosecutors.

 Leon Cannizzaro issued a statement Tuesday saying no individual person who is aggrieved by his office's policies and practices has contacted him.

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According to the Tax Foundation’s State Business Tax Climate Index, Louisiana ranks 42nd on tax competitiveness. Senior Policy Analyst Jared Walczak says the Bayou State has one of the nation’s most complex tax structures. He says Louisiana has a number of taxes that most states have foregone.

Wyoming ranked number one in the nation when it comes to tax competitiveness and New Jersey came in 50th. Walczak says Louisiana’s complex tax code makes it difficult for new companies to conduct business.

Loyola Law Symposium Set On Children Of Prisoners

11 hours ago
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The College of Law at Loyola University in New Orleans will play host to public officials, academics and experts on the ways in which the incarceration of a family member affects children. 

 Topics will include the effect of mass incarceration on families and the mental health implications of parental incarceration for children.

 The keynote speaker for Friday's daylong meeting will be Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards. He is expected to address the state's efforts to reduce prison populations, including a criminal justice reform bill passed this year. 

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