Nine years after a knife fight on Bourbon Street landed former Tulane football player Ray Boudreaux behind bars, accused of attempted murder, his case ended this week with a guilty plea to a lesser offense and no further jail time.
Boudreaux, 31, pleaded guilty Monday to aggravated battery. Orleans Parish Criminal District Court Judge Arthur Hunter sentenced him to the time he already served between his arrest and his original trial — less than a year.
Boudreaux, a native of Abbeville, was taken into custody on Sept. 16, 2007, accused of stabbing five people — three of whom were left in critical condition — after a violent altercation that erupted as he and three family members were leaving Club Utopia in the 200 block of Bourbon Street.
A jury in 2008 rejected Boudreaux’s claim of self-defense and convicted him on three counts of attempted manslaughter and one of aggravated battery. Hunter gave him a 10-year prison sentence.
The judge allowed Boudreaux to remain free pending his appeal, however, and in 2013 he granted him a new trial. Hunter found that Boudreaux’s trial attorneys had failed to gather key evidence or subpoena critical witnesses who would have bolstered his case.
Hunter said the attorneys ignored the existence of a video from a surveillance camera outside a nearby strip club and also failed to get testimony from the club’s manager, who told police that Boudreaux had pleaded for a refuge from the fight.
The attorneys, Eric Wright and Kenisha Parks, also failed to subpoena another witness, who said she saw a different person stabbing the victims, and they never properly investigated the prior mental deficiencies of a victim who claimed he suffered lasting brain damage from the stab wounds, Hunter found.
An appeals court panel and the Louisiana Supreme Court upheld Hunter’s decision on a new trial for Boudreaux, who had remained free on $100,000 bond.
Boudreaux’s attorney, D. Majeeda Snead, could not be reached Tuesday.
Christopher Bowman, a spokesman for District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office, said there was no deal with Boudreaux over prison time for his guilty plea.
“We obtained a guilty plea to a crime of violence,” Bowman said. “The judge could have sentenced him to up to 10 years for that conviction.”
He declined to comment on Hunter’s decision to sentence Boudreaux to time served.
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