Wednesday, November 4, 2009

New Orleans Drug Dealer Killed in Self-Defense By Another Drug Dealer

New Orleans, Louisiana

From the October 23, 2009 New Orleans Times-Picayune:
An Orleans Parish jury unanimously freed a man accused of murder after he told them that the shooting victim and his friends had infested an Algiers neighborhood with drug-dealing.

The defendant, meanwhile, is serving time for selling drugs.

Marcus Henry, 29, admitted killing Aubrey Powell, 31, in a shootout the night of Oct. 27, 2007, in the 800 block of Vallette Street. But it was in self-defense, he testified at Criminal District Court.

The jury deliberated for about 3 1/2 hours Thursday before freeing Henry from the second-degree murder charge, which would carry mandatory life in prison upon conviction.

Henry, however, remains in jail, serving a 30-month sentence for dealing crack cocaine. He told the jury that he is trying to rebuild his life and at the time of the shooting was working three jobs.

Police arrested Henry minutes after the killing, after spotting a car barreling down Opelousas Street -- and then watching someone toss a handgun from the car.

The gun was the only weapon entered into evidence at the trial, although jurors heard that multiple shots were fired that night from more than one weapon.

Prosecutors presented two eyewitnesses who identified Henry as the killer, including one man who testified in his prison jumpsuit since he is in federal custody as a result of a drug-dealing charge.

Defense attorney Martin Regan argued that the homicide was a case of two drug dealers getting involved in a fight, and one drew his gun faster -- his client.

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