Marshall Coulter, the teenager who was shot in the head last year by a Marigny homeowner after jumping a fence into the man’s yard, and who was arrested Friday for entering a residence in the same neighborhood, also was booked Friday for a 2012 burglary in which he allegedly broke into a home on Frenchmen Street and wrested a gun from a resident, police said Monday.
In a news release, the New Orleans Police Department said Coulter was arrested on a count of aggravated burglary based on a warrant stemming from the June 2012 incident.
He was booked on that warrant at the 8th District police station, apparently following his arrest Friday afternoon.
The NOPD has not officially announced the arrest on Friday’s alleged break-in, but it was confirmed by a law enforcement source.
An NOPD spokesman said a 15-year-old youth was arrested in the 2000 block of Royal Street at about 3:45 p.m. Friday, but he did not name him. Police said the youth was taken to the Juvenile Bureau and booked with simple burglary.
Police named Coulter only in response to questions Monday about the 2012 case.
Coulter underwent numerous surgeries following his severe injury from the shooting in July, after which police booked city employee Merritt Landry on a count of attempted second-degree murder.
It was unclear when the arrest warrant was issued from the 2012 case, or why police didn’t arrest Coulter earlier.
In that incident, which occurred at a home in the 900 block of Frenchmen Street, the “victims returned home and found the suspect inside of their house,” according to a police statement. “A struggle ensued, at which time the suspect armed himself with the victim’s gun. The suspect then fled the scene on foot,” the statement said.
All three incidents took place within five blocks of each other, close to where Coulter’s family lived on Elysian Fields Avenue.
Landry, an inspector for the city’s Historic District Landmarks Commission, remains free on bond following his arrest last year. A state grand jury declined in March to take any action against him, despite hearing evidence for months about the shooting in Landry’s fenced-in yard in the 700 block of Mandeville Street.
The arrest of Landry inspired a campaign on his behalf along with a legal defense fund that drew more than $27,000 in pledges.
New Orleans police concluded that Landry fired on the youth from about 30 feet away. Coulter was unarmed and “not posing an imminent threat,” according to police.
Supporters claimed Landry was only protecting his family and his pregnant wife when he shot the young intruder. Landry’s wife gave birth a few days later.
Critics questioned that view and complained that Landry was given preferential treatment, as when Criminal District Court Judge Franz Zibilich, a family friend, quickly engineered his release on a $100,000 property bond without requiring him to first submit the usual paperwork.
Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office has yet to take further action against Landry. Cannizzaro could present the case to a new grand jury, file a bill of information charging Landry with a crime or refuse the case outright.
Cannizzaro’s office did not respond Monday to questions about the case.
One of Landry’s attorneys, Kevin Boshea, declined to comment directly on the case, but he suggested that the alleged 2012 incident suggests the youth was a potentially violent serial offender when he leaped over his client’s gate at around 2 a.m. July 26.
“The bottom line is: It certainly establishes the fact he’s an extremely dangerous person. It certainly justifies the grand jury’s failure to charge (Landry),” Boshea said. “More important is the question of what the district attorney is going to do, and I can’t answer that.”
Police declined to provide Coulter’s date of birth. But if he was 14 at the time he was shot, and 15 now, as police have said, he could not be tried as an adult on either of the crimes he’s alleged to have committed.
Simple burglary, the crime for which Coulter was first arrested Friday, is not among the crimes for which Louisiana law allows minors to be tried as adults.
Aggravated burglary, the crime for which Coulter was booked on the warrant for the 2012 incident, is among a dozen categories of crimes for which a custody hearing can be held for juveniles 15 years or older to determine whether to try them as adults.
Christopher Starnes, who owns the Marigny Brasserie restaurant at Royal and Frenchmen streets, said he saw Coulter sitting on the porch of the adjacent home when he returned to his restaurant from an errand Friday.
“He was just fishing through the guy’s mailbox and throwing the mail into the alley,” Starnes said. “I thought he was stoned.”
Starnes said Coulter’s speech seemed slow and impaired, but he appeared innocuous.
Starnes said the resident of the house later told him that when he came home, Coulter was in his house. Apparently, the youth had found a key in the mailbox and let himself in.
“He didn’t have the vibe of being up to no good,” Starnes said.
It was unclear Monday just when Coulter left the hospital or where he was living when police arrested him Friday.