NOPD detective pleads not guilty to attempted murder; 2nd officer charged in separate case _lowres

Christopher Carter

A New Orleans police detective pleaded not guilty Monday to charges of attempted murder and simple battery stemming from an incident involving his then-pregnant ex-girlfriend.

Detective Robert Hurst’s arraignment came on the same day that Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office filed domestic abuse battery charges against another veteran officer, Christopher Carter, over a separate alleged incident.

Hurst, a 10-year veteran with the 5th District, appeared in court in a dark suit and tie, saying nothing as his attorney, Eric Hessler, entered the plea. Criminal District Court Judge Keva Landrum-Johnson declined to set bail for Hurst. Instead, she scheduled a bail hearing for next Monday because she said she didn’t consider Hurst, 39, a flight risk.

Landrum-Johnson also issued an order that bars Hurst from contacting the woman. Then he was allowed to go.

Hurst was not arrested when prosecutors filed the charges against him Friday. An NOPD spokesman declined to explain the reasons Friday, citing an ongoing investigation. According to a bill of information, the allegations against Hurst stem from at least one incident that took place between Dec. 10 and Dec. 24

Hessler said Friday that the alleged crime wasn’t reported for months after Hurst broke up with the woman, who has since given birth to their child.

The New Orleans Advocate does not name purported victims of domestic violence.

“It’s purely a disgruntled ex-girlfriend who has found a way to make trouble for this guy, who certainly doesn’t deserve anything,” Hessler said Friday. He declined to discuss the case Monday.

The Police Department said last week that Hurst had been placed on emergency suspension without pay while the NOPD’s Public Integrity Bureau investigates the allegations.

Also now on emergency suspension without pay while he faces felony charges is Carter, a 10-year veteran assigned to the Special Operations Division. He was charged Monday with two counts of domestic-abuse battery, one of them allegedly involving strangulation.

Carter’s attorney, Donovan Livaccari, declined to discuss the allegations but said Carter, 35, would appear in Landrum-Johnson’s courtroom Tuesday morning.

Livaccari called it “an unfortunate situation.”

“He’s a good employee. He’s a good person,” Livaccari said.

Carter was placed on administrative reassignment in May, four months after the Public Integrity Bureau launched an investigation after receiving a complaint in January, according to a news release issued Tuesday by the department.

Christopher Bowman, a spokesman for Cannizzaro’s office, said Carter’s case was referred to prosecutors in June. The PIB investigation is ongoing.

Both officers’ suspensions run 120 days.

Hurst’s disciplinary record includes no other allegations of violence, but it does show he’s been reprimanded in the past.

In 2011, he was suspended for 18 days pending an investigation of an incident in which he allegedly took off his uniform shirt at Fat Harry’s bar Uptown and let a young woman wear it. The Civil Service Commission upheld the suspension, finding that Hurst removed his badge, name plate and collar brass and allowed a woman named Kim to wear his NOPD shirt.

Hurst admitted that he had been drinking heavily that night in a fraternity pledge challenge while in uniform, according to civil service records.

Follow John Simerman on Twitter, @johnsimerman.