The family of Maurice Williams, the 30-year-old man fatally shot on the St. Charles Avenue parade route on Mardi Gras day, is using cellphone video to dispute the claims by his accused killer, 21-year-old Eddie Dingle, that he was acting in self-defense, according to a WWL-TV report.
An attorney for the man accused of fatally shooting a fellow parade-goer along St. Charles Avenue during this year's Mardi Gras said Friday th…
Dingle's attorney Lionel "Lon" Burns said Williams was the aggressor in the incident, and Dingle was forced to defend himself after he was hit below the eye with a pipe wrench while holding his baby.
Williams' family, totaling about a dozen witnesses to the minor argument that escalated into the fatal shooting, has called the defense's version of the incident a "complete lie," with Williams' aunt, Alanna Blazio, telling WWL-TV that he was trying to be a peacemaker.
The family has two separate cell phone videos to counter the claims made by Burns and Dingle’s family. . In one of them, Dingle is visible in the background, along with his brother Devin, charging into a tent occupied by Williams' family and friends.
A cousin of Williams appears to fend them off with a couple of punches, visibly sending Dingle backward, which Williams' family says could have caused the welt under his eye.
They were punches. No pipe wrench was involved,” Taylor Freeman, a cousin who witnessed the altercation, told WWL-TV.
Blazio also said Dingle and his brother "came into our tent and attacked all of us. And they wouldn't stop."
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WWL-TV legal analyst Pauline Hardin said the video could be important legally to shed light on the question of who was the aggressor, which is critical in a self-defense claim.
“If you are the aggressor, you cannot claim self-defense unless you have retreated from the incident,” Hardin said.
The Williams family has previously refuted Dingle's claim of self-defense, as has the New Orleans Police Department's account of the incident via court records.
Remarks directed toward a woman on the Uptown parade route led to the deadly shooting there on Mardi Gras, according to a police account conta…
The NOPD's account of the incident says remarks directed toward a woman on the St. Charles Avenue parade route led to the deadly shooting, and Dingle's arrest warrants suggest investigators believe Dingle gunned Williams down in the heat of anger during a fight that pitted their companions on the parade route against each other.
Police also back up Blazio's claim that Williams was playing peacemaker when he was slain, citing an eyewitness account captured on a recording.
On a Mardi Gras day marked by violence, surveillance footage shows the hectic moments as paradegoers fled from the sound of gunshots.
Read WWL-TV's full report here.