Two booked in shooting of pregnant teen, and other area police news _lowres

Stuart Pratt

Two booked in shooting of pregnant teen, 16

Two suspects have been arrested in connection with a shooting that sent a pregnant 16-year-old to the hospital earlier this week.

Shalik Allen, 17, and Raheem Wright, 20, were each booked with attempted second-degree murder and attempted first-degree feticide, New Orleans police said.

The men allegedly drove the victim to the 11000 block of Patterson Road in lower Algiers about 10:50 p.m. Sunday night to look at horses in the area, said New Orleans Police Cmdr. Shaun Ferguson, who oversees Algiers.

Once there, one of the men opened fire on the teen, striking her in the neck, arm and body, Ferguson said.

A motive was not immediately clear, but Ferguson said investigators believe one of the suspects is the victim’s boyfriend and the other is a former classmate.

The victim was able to make her way to a nearby home, where the resident called police.

“She was shot and left for dead,” Ferguson said.

The victim and her unborn child remained hospitalized Tuesday but were in stable condition, Ferguson said.

Man found floating in canal was shot to death

A man whose body was found Sunday afternoon in the Industrial Canal was shot to death, an autopsy found, leading the case to be classified as a homicide.

Investigators believe the man had been dead between three and four days before he was discovered in the water near the Florida Avenue bridge, John Gagliano, the Orleans Parish coroner’s chief investigator, said Tuesday.

The victim, whose name is being withheld pending notification of family, was shot multiple times, Gagliano said.

Police have not identified a suspect or motive in the killing.

Murder conviction reinstated in 2011 case

The Louisiana Supreme Court has reinstated the murder conviction of a man convicted in 2011 of ordering a hit that also landed the killer in prison for life.

Samuel Mack Jr. was convicted of ordering the hit on Mark Westbrook, who was killed in the 8300 block of Chef Menteur Highway in what the Supreme Court described last week as “an apparently gratuitous two-shot execution committed by Ortiz Jackson.”

A split panel of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeal last June overturned the conviction and life sentence that a jury handed Mack, now 42, for allegedly ordering the hit after threatening Westbrook 20 minutes earlier, after Mack had tried to step into a heated argument.

Westbrook told Mack to “butt out.” Mack allegedly replied, “You know, I’m Sam Mack. You know what I could have done to you?”

The circuit court found that a phone call Mack made to someone who then dialed Jackson’s number shortly after the dispute broke up was not enough legally to convict him, despite the jury’s verdict.

The state’s high court disagreed last week, finding that the identity of the callers, combined with the “scarcely veiled threat” to Westbrook earlier, made the jury’s guilty verdict reasonable.

Mack was convicted in August 2011 and sentenced to life in prison a month later.

Jackson, now 38, was convicted of second-degree murder in November, 2010 and sentenced to life in prison the following year.

Attempted robbery anything but home run

Stuart Pratt may be a star slugger for his recreation-league softball team, Ballz Deep, but his alleged attempt to break into the Petals and Stems flower store in Slidell was anything but a home run.

Pratt, 29, is accused of breaking into the shop in the early morning of May 5, when police responded to an alarm going off at the store, according to a news release from the Slidell Police Department.

When officers arrived, they found a broken window and cash missing from the register.

Surveillance video showed the burglar wearing a Ballz Deep softball jersey with the number 33 on the back.

After pictures from the video were posted on the department’s Facebook page, numerous tips identified Pratt as the burglar, according to a department spokesman. Pratt surrendered over the weekend and was booked on a count of simple burglary. He remains in the St. Tammany Parish jail.

Man, 24, suspected of trying to burglarize cars

Kenner police arrested a man late last week for allegedly pulling on vehicle door handles in the 5100 block of Toby Lane.

Brandon Labourdette, 24, of Metairie, was booked on three counts of attempted simple burglary of a vehicle, said Sgt. Brian McGregor, a Kenner Police Department spokesman.

The burglary attempts happened about 4 a.m. Friday, McGregor said.

Labourdette remained jailed Tuesday. His bail was set at $30,000, McGregor said.

N.O. men suspected in Slidell auto burglaries

Slidell police arrested four New Orleans residents last week on burglary and gun charges.

Brandon Leblanc, 17; Larry Womack, 19; Rodrick Barnes, 19; and Brandon Dunns, 17, each face charges of simple burglary, theft of a firearm and possession of a stolen firearm, the Slidell Police Department said.

Investigators believe the suspects had been burglarizing vehicles around Slidell.

Police found two stolen guns, stolen laptops, stolen purses and other stolen property inside an SUV the suspects were using. All of the stolen property was found to belong to residents in Slidell-area neighborhoods, the department said.

All of the vehicles involved in the burglaries had been left unlocked, the department said.

Man leaves kids in car after accident, chase

A man who Slidell police said ran away from an accident, abandoning his young children inside the vehicle, was arrested over the weekend when he ditched another set of children and tried to flee police who pursued him.

Steven Charles, 35, first was involved with a hit-and-run accident May 2 at Gause Boulevard and Carroll Road.

He fled the scene, and officers who responded found his two children — both under the age of 5 — in the back seat of the damaged vehicle. Neither child was harmed and both were returned to their mother.

Slidell police issued warrants for Charles for hit-and-run and child abandonment.

While he was able to evade police for almost a week, he was spotted over the weekend by a Slidell police officer who tried to stop him on U.S. 11.

Charles then led police on a chase through the Lakewood subdivision and drove to the end of a dead-end road where he jumped out of his SUV and into a nearby pond.

Police again found children inside the vehicle Charles ditched, this time a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old.

A K-9 unit was dispatched to help apprehend Charles.

Charles, who faces charges including aggravated flight from an officer and multiple counts of child abandonment, remained jailed Tuesday at the St. Tammany Parish jail.