Citing a lack of evidence, prosecutors have refused charges against an ex-convict accused of mortally wounding a New Orleans man with a beer bottle outside a 9th Ward convenience store.
Richard Dozier, 49, had been booked with second-degree battery two days after the March 22 fight, which occurred about 5:30 p.m. outside the We Got It on North Claiborne Avenue.
Charles “Carlos” Robertson, 31, never recovered from his injuries, including a fractured skull, and died several days after his head was bashed in.
Dozier, in an interview with police, admitted knocking Robertson unconscious. But he claimed he acted in self-defense, according to a police report, saying he had wrested the glass bottle away from Robertson.
The District Attorney’s Office, which accepts charges in about 85 percent of the cases it receives from police, declined to prosecute Dozier in large part because several witnesses portrayed Robertson as the aggressor, said Christopher Bowman, a spokesman for District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro.
“There were serious, serious evidentiary issues,” Bowman said. “At this point, the DA’s Office believes that, based on the evidence currently in our possession, Mr. Dozier was justified in his actions.”
The decision devastated Robertson’s grandmother, Rose Bradford, who had helped police identify Robertson as a suspect in the case. She was so distraught by the lack of prosecution, she said, that she became physically ill.
“They called me up and I went up there, and they said I didn’t have enough evidence to prosecute,” Bradford said of her recent meeting at the DA’s Office. “I was so upset, if I had a gun I would have killed all of them.”
Bradford told police she had been home the evening of the fight when an anonymous caller telephoned and told her Robertson had been attacked by a man called Richard. Bradford went to the store immediately and found her grandson lying on the ground in the parking lot.
She later told Detective Thaddeus Williams where Dozier lived and that he worked for the Sewerage & Water Board.
An autopsy found Robertson died from head injuries.
Two days after the fight, Dozier called police and agreed to be interviewed. He said Robertson had been carrying the bottle at the start of the fight. He said he drove away after striking Robertson because he was scared, the police report said.
Dozier was arrested after giving his statement and later posted $10,000 bail.
Reached by phone Monday, Dozier said he was not in the mood to discuss his case. He has several previous arrests, according to court records. In one 1998 case, he was charged with attempted murder and later pleaded guilty to aggravated battery.
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