Jefferson Parish District Attorney Paul Connick will not seek the death penalty for a man charged in a quadruple murder at a Metairie apartment complex last year.
A grand jury charged Armande Tart with four counts of first-degree murder in July but Connick did not immediately indicate whether he would pursue capital punishment. That happened in a hearing in 24th Judicial District Court on Monday, when Assistant District Attorney Rachel Africk told Judge John Molaison that the state will only seek mandatory life in prison, according to court records.
Records also show that the Capital Project of South Louisiana withdrew as Tart’s counsel and that a lawyer with the Jefferson Parish Public Defender’s Office will represent him.
The crime Tart is accused of involved several aggravating factors, including drugs, burglary and multiple victims, which qualified it to be a first-degree murder case. But it was still up to the DA’s office to decide if it would seek the death penalty, which would take a unanimous jury to convict, or life in prison, which requires only 10 jurors to agree.
Connick’s office does not comment on open cases.
Tart, 21, of New Orleans, is accused of killing four people in the early morning hours of March 15 and injuring another woman, whom he shot in the face.
The woman called 911 and was rushed to University Medical Center as deputies discovered the bodies of Rosemary Charles, a 61-year-old elder care worker, and her boyfriend, John Edward Henry, 56.
Charles and Henry each had been shot once in the head. A visiting friend, Kyle Turner, 40, was shot twice in the head.
In another apartment in the same complex, 56-year-old Harold Frisard was found dead from multiple stab wounds to the head.
In addition to four counts of first-degree murder, Tart was charged with one count of attempted first-degree murder and one count of obstruction of justice.