Frederica Carter said she knows the search for justice can be a long road, and she is just at the beginning. But Wednesday’s arrest of a woman in the slaying of her brother in Central City on Memorial Day has brought her family some sense of relief.
Police booked Latasha Q. Williams, 37, on a second-degree murder count in the May 25 stabbing of Carter’s brother, Alvin, in front of her house in the 1800 block of South Liberty Street.
The killing started with a street fight, according to an arrest warrant sworn out by New Orleans Police Department Detective Debra Normand. Alvin Carter and a friend named Houston Lewis were fighting on South Liberty just before 9 p.m.
Lewis told police that Alvin Carter left and came back with a knife and swung it at him. Lewis claimed that when Carter took his swing, he accidentally stabbed himself.
But the Coroner’s Office concluded two days later that Lewis’ story was just as unbelievable as it sounded: Alvin Carter did not stab himself.
Williams also was out on the street that night. She told police she was standing on the sidewalk while the two men fought on the street. But witnesses told detectives that Williams actually had asked for a knife and that she was seen with a blade in each hand shortly before Alvin Carter was stabbed.
Williams’ bloodied clothes suggested to detectives that she might have had some involvement in the crime. She made the strange claim that the blood came from hugging Lewis after the stabbing. A preliminary analysis from the State Police Crime Lab, however, suggested that the blood spatter might have come off a weapon.
Calls to 911 further deepened Normand’s suspicion that Williams was behind the crime. Callers said Williams was the attacker and even gave dispatchers her South Liberty Street address, according to the arrest warrant.
On Wednesday, Williams was taken into custody. She is being held on $250,000 bail. Orleans Public Defender’s Office spokeswoman Lindsey Hortenstine said the office had no comment on the case.
Alvin Carter’s death has left three girls younger than 10 without their father and a fiancée grieving, his sister said.
Frederica Carter was angered that Lewis claimed her brother had a knife. He never had a weapon, she said.
Frederica Carter described her brother as a fun, family-oriented person who loved to bring his family together by barbecueing for them at cookouts.
For the family that Alvin Carter had always tried to unite, said his sister, his loss has been “devastating. We just want justice.”