A state grand jury handed up an indictment Thursday accusing 16-year-old Dante Veals of manslaughter in the killing of a friend, Deion Robair, when a video game session allegedly turned deadly inside a home in the Desire neighborhood in March.
The indictment, one of several issued Thursday, comes three months after a Juvenile Court judge found sufficient evidence to support a murder count against Veals, resulting in his transfer to Orleans Parish Prison.
Police arrested Veals shortly after the March 19 killing, which came as three teenage friends were smoking cigars and playing Grand Theft Auto, according to a New Orleans homicide detective.
Robair and Veals began to wrestle, and witnesses said Veals picked up a revolver that Robair had brought, then made a reference to Russian roulette before tucking a single cartridge in the gun. He clicked once, then twice, before the gun fired the third time he pulled the trigger, killing Robair, according to Detective Debra Normand.
The victim was “not a willing participant” in Veals’ actions, Normand testified.
Veals, who lives in the 1200 block of Congress Street, was arrested less than eight hours after the shooting. Criminal District Court Judge Karen Herman set his bail at $750,000.
A spokesman for Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office declined to comment on the grand jury’s decision to indict Veals for manslaughter rather than murder.
Also Thursday, a man accused of stabbing his brother almost 100 times with a knife last year and then burning down the Gentilly house with his sibling’s body inside it was indicted on charges of second-degree murder and evidence tampering.
Ian Broyard, 22, had been in several scraps with his older brother, Michael Broyard, before their sister arrived home the morning of Nov. 6 to find smoke billowing from the front door of the house in the 3000 block of Belfort Avenue.
Firefighters found Michael’s body inside and no signs of Ian, who had been there not long before, his mother told police.
According to an application for a search warrant, Ian Broyard showed up soon afterward, holding his stomach in pain and with cuts on his forearms.
In a garbage can, where a witness said a man tossed something while riding away from the home on a bicycle, police found a blood-stained vest made of taped book covers, which yielded DNA evidence that police have linked to the brother.
Herman set a $1.25 million bail for Broyard, who has been in jail since his February arrest on a murder charge. He was rebooked in April, with police adding two counts of simple arson.
At the time, bail was set at $500,000 on the murder count and $100,000 on the arson allegations.
An autopsy found that Michael Broyard was stabbed 93 times in the neck and torso and had a normal level of carbon dioxide in his body, leading investigators to conclude he was killed before the fire was set.
Police said in court documents that Ian Broyard has a history of mental illness and has acted violently toward others. Court documents indicate he has no prior criminal history.
The grand jury also indicted a Harvey man on a charge of second-degree murder in the killing of 25-year-old O. Perry Walker High School graduate Delores Jones inside a New Orleans East apartment May 24. At the time, police said Jones was the victim of a domestic dispute.
Jermal Holmes, a 27-year-old parolee who served a seven-year prison sentence for a variety of drug offenses and battery on a police officer, was arrested a day later at West Jefferson Medical Center.
The fatal shooting was reported about 9:30 a.m. at the Chateau d’Orleans apartment complex in the 14700 block of Chef Menteur Highway, police said. Herman set bail for Holmes at $1 million and issued a warrant for his rearrest.
The grand jury also indicted 23-year-old Ryan Miller on a count of aggravated rape involving a 12-year-old girl over a four-month span last year. Details of the crime were not available, and the indictment does not identify the victim.
Miller, who lives in Hollygrove, was arrested last month on a dozen sex counts in connection with the offense, which allegedly took place last year from April 1 to Aug. 27, a day before the victim’s 13th birthday.