4 juveniles linked to woman’s carjacking, dragging death in custody, NOPD says
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - Four teenagers believed responsible for the carjacking and dragging death of a woman in Mid-City have been arrested by New Orleans police, the department announced Tuesday (March 22).
A law enforcement source identified the accused killers as 17-year-old John Honore and three 15-year-old girls: Briniyah Baker, Marquel Curtis and Lenyra Theophile. The teens are booked with second-degree murder, NOPD Superintendent Shaun Ferguson said at a news conference at police headquarters.
One of the girls and Honore were turned in to police by their parents, Ferguson said, after surveillance images of the suspects were disseminated by news media Monday afternoon.
“This was an incredibly difficult decision, on the behalf of these parents, and I want to commend them for doing the right thing,” Ferguson said. “It’s very painful to turn in your child for something you know they were not raised to be.
“It does, in fact, take a village to ensure the safety of our city.”
The teens are accused of carjacking 73-year-old Linda Frickey on Monday shortly after 1:30 p.m., dragging the woman more than a block while she was entangled in her seat belt’s strap until her arm was detached from her body and she bled to death in the 300 block of North Scott Street.
Ferguson said all four teens would be booked with second-degree murder, and that he plans to personally ask Orleans Parish District Attorney Jason Williams to prosecute the suspects in adult court, where they could face life sentences with the possibility of parole after 25 years.
“I would say absolutely I will ask they be charged as adults,” Ferguson said. “I mean, look at the nature of the crime. Brazenness. Broad daylight. No regard for this woman hanging outside the car. ... At some point, we have to hold people accountable.”
Earlier Tuesday, Williams issued a statement decrying the crime, but stopped short of promising the juveniles would be prosecuted as adults.
“What occurred ... was heinous and unthinkable,” Williams said. “I can’t help but think of my own mother and other elders in our community. While we will allow the NOPD to complete a thorough investigation, any and all persons that the evidence shows participated in the murder of this elder will be prosecuted to the absolute fullest extent of the law.”
While campaigning for office, Williams pledged to prosecute minors only in the state’s juvenile system, where adjudicated young felons can be incarcerated only until their 21st birthdays.
But Williams has made at least one exception to that pledge. He announced last May that 15-year-olds Que’dyn Growe and Demond Thomas would be prosecuted as adults for the January 2021 murder of 52-year-old Anita Irvin-LeViege, who was delivering groceries to her in-laws in New Orleans East when she was fatally shot during what police described as a botched carjacking attempt.
Ferguson, who said he spoke with Frickey’s family to share news of the arrests, made it clear he thinks no lesser consideration should be given to the four suspects in her death.
“I’m not an advocate for incarceration, but sometimes people need to be locked up,” Ferguson said. “When you commit a crime like this, absolutely you need to be locked up.”
After the surveillance images of the suspects were disseminated Monday afternoon, Ferguson said the mother of one of the 15-year-old girls brought her in to surrender to police. Hours later, the parents of the 17-year-old boy also notified police of where he could be found. Police served a search warrant at another residence and found the male suspect with one of the girls also being sought.
After news reports of the first three arrests circulated Tuesday morning, the final 15-year-old girl surrendered to police between 10:30 and 11:30 a.m., Ferguson said.
“I challenged the community (Monday) to play an active role in identifying and locating these individuals, and the community did just that,” Ferguson said. “So many of you decided to step up and say what you saw or what you knew. Because of that concerted effort, and the hard work of the NOPD officers and investigators working throughout the night with our citizens who called in, these arrests were made.
“This should happen every time we have an unfortunate death. From the perspective of the police department, we have the same effort every time we have a case. But often it requires the information we need to run with it.”
Ferguson provided no details on the juvenile criminal records of the four teens, but acknowledged “some of them” have been arrested before.
“We are looking to see if they were involved in any other crimes,” Ferguson said. “Right now, we have nothing to report in that regard. What they were arrested for in the past has nothing to do with what happened yesterday.”
Ferguson also said it no longer was that surprising to see females suspected of violent crimes, noting that 24-year-old Daphney Jackson was just arrested for Sunday’s shooting death of 46-year-old Bourbon Street bartender Spencer Hudson, another senseless killing that rattled the city.
“We are starting to see that more often, and it’s very concerning,” Ferguson said. “It’s not a gender thing. There’s a certain culture of behavior that we must address.”
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