A federal magistrate judge denied bail Thursday to the New Orleans man who shot a Jefferson Parish sheriff’s deputy during a drug raid this week in the Lower 9th Ward, citing “very serious” public safety concerns.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Sally Shushan ordered the gunman, Jarvis Hardy, to await trial on attempted murder charges behind bars, adopting the recommendation of a probation officer who testified that Hardy’s release would pose “a danger to the community.”
Hardy, 26, has admitted shooting Deputy Stephen Arnold several times but claimed in an interview with the FBI that he did not recognize the armed men in his home were law enforcement officers, according to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court.
The shooting happened during a predawn raid Tuesday as a multijurisdictional task force led by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration descended on Hardy’s room with a warrant for his arrest. Another task force officer returned fire but did not strike Hardy.
“Quite frankly, he shot first,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Jay Quinlan said, referring to Hardy. Even if one believed Hardy’s assertions, Quinlan argued, this was at best “a drug dealer defending his turf.”
Arnold, who was shot five times in the neck and torso, remained in “very critical condition” Thursday, said Col. John Fortunato, a Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office spokesman.
The nearly hourlong detention hearing offered few new details about the raid. Special Agent Christopher Bauer of the FBI, testifying for the government, hewed closely to the criminal complaint made public Wednesday, though he added that investigators searching the home after the shooting found between a half-ounce and 1.5 ounces of crack cocaine.
Perhaps the most damning statements made against Hardy have come from his mother, Gail, who according to the FBI admitted she had recognized the police raid for what it was and ran to her son’s room to warn him.
Hardy’s court-appointed defense attorney, Valerie Jusselin, sought to erode the mother’s credibility, stressing that Hardy has no prior convictions, while his mother has twice been convicted of possessing cocaine.
Jusselin also noted that Hardy attended Grace King High School in Metairie and later received a GED. He has lived most of his life in New Orleans, she said, but briefly evacuated to Houston after his family lost their home during Hurricane Katrina.
The probation officer, Rodd Felix, acknowledged that Hardy had a more stable employment history than many federal defendants he encounters, including a stint as a server at Zea Rotisserie & Grill. But he also suggested that Hardy has a juvenile criminal record of some kind, stressing that “as an adult, he doesn’t have any convictions.”
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