The Jefferson Parish District Attorney’s Office has charged Adam “Sip” Littleton with manslaughter in the death of Jasilas Wright, a 19-year-old woman who had been riding in his car shortly before her body was found in pieces along Interstate 10 in Metairie this summer.
Littleton, 23, pleaded not guilty to the charge before a commissioner in 24th Judicial District Court and is being held in the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center.
Littleton surrendered to authorities in Shreveport on June 14, four days after Wright’s remains were found, and was booked on kidnapping and murder counts.
State Police said at the time that Wright’s family said they had called Littleton after her body was discovered, and that he first told them that he let Wright out of the car on the interstate after an argument, only to say later in the same conversation that Wright had jumped out of the vehicle.
Investigators said Littleton was Wright’s pimp and would sometimes set her up on “dates,” and that he kidnapped her from the Bourbon Street club where she worked.
In August, however, Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro decided not to prosecute the kidnapping charge, and Littleton was transferred to Jefferson Parish Correctional Center and held on $500,000 bail on the second-degree murder count lodged against him there.
A state trooper testified at the time that police were unable to find an eyewitness to a kidnapping or any texts sent by Wright that indicated she had been taken against her will.
Cannizzaro said he declined to accept the kidnapping charges not because the case was weak but to let Jefferson Parish pursue the second-degree murder case.
The bill of information charging Littleton in Jefferson, however, is for the lesser charge of manslaughter, which carries a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison, compared with an automatic life sentence for second-degree murder.
The document indicates prosecutors believe Littleton committed manslaughter by striking Wright with his car, then fleeing the scene.
Littleton’s attorney, Nandi Campbell, said Wednesday that her client is no pimp, just a young man who lost his girlfriend. Campbell said she was disappointed he was even charged.
“He did not kidnap the young lady, he did not push the young lady and he did not hit her,” Campbell said, adding she is eager to get on with the case. “Now that he has been charged, we have an opportunity to review the evidence against him,” she said.
Campbell said Littleton has never given a statement to police about what happened that night.
Jefferson Parish District Attorney Paul Connick could not be reached Wednesday, though his office typically doesn’t comment on the cases it prosecutes.
The trial has been assigned to 24th Judicial District Court Judge Lee Faulkner. A hearing has been scheduled for January.
Follow Chad Calder on Twitter, @Chad_Calder.