One man received a 40-year sentence and another man rejected a plea offer Tuesday in connection with an execution-style killing in 2008 and the rape and shooting of the victim’s girlfriend.
Criminal District Court Judge Keva Landrum-Johnson sentenced Dayshawn Celestain, 32, to a 40 year prison sentence after he agreed to a plea deal with prosecutors. Celestain’s co-defendant, Brent Simeon, 32, rejected a 50-year plea offer.
Celestain and Simeon were accused of carjacking Brandon Martes, 22, of Metairie, and his girlfriend in October 2008. They shot Martes in the back of the head then ditched his body in the 2500 block of Constitution Place in St. Roch, according to authorities.
Police said the men then drove Martes’ car to a place where both of them raped the 25-year-old woman. One of the perpetrators shot the woman multiple times but she survived, according to a nola.com account from the time.
Prosecutors pursued the death sentence for both men for years. However, in January the office of District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro announced that it was no longer seeking capital punishment in the case, continuing a recent trend with other death penalty-eligible cases.
Celestain's charges of first-degree murder and first-degree rape were amended to manslaughter and second-degree rape under the plea deal. Prosecutors said the surviving victim and Martes' family were consulted on the deal.
Simeon’s trial is set for Jan. 22. He faces life in prison if convicted.