A man who is already serving a life term in Florida pleaded guilty Wednesday to a brutal triple shooting in New Orleans East that left his girlfriend and her 8-year-old daughter dead in 2015.
Dwayne K. Martin, 28, acknowledged his guilt under a plea agreement with prosecutors. Criminal District Court Judge Tracey Flemings-Davillier imposed a 50-year sentence, which is to be served in addition to his life term in Florida for a separate burglary.
The practical effect of the extra sentence might be negligible, but Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro said he hopes it will bring some solace to the family members of Walesha Wiliams and her daughter Paris, who were killed inside a home in March 2015.
"While this guilty plea and sentence only reiterate that this defendant never will leave his Florida prison alive, it does at least provide some relief and closure to these victims and their families that he has admitted his responsibility for this shameful and heartless act," Cannizzaro said.
Investigators described a shocking series of events that unfolded in the 14000 block of Duane Road on March 3, 2015.
Martin was in the midst of a dispute with his girlfriend Walesha Williams, 25, when he fired two shots and killed her. Then he wounded a 39-year-old friend of Williams who survived by pretending to be dead. Finally he went to the bedroom of young Paris Williams and fired a shot to her head.
The third-grade student was found with defensive wounds to her hands, according to prosecutors. She died later the same day at a hospital.
Authorities said the survivor of the shooting saw Martin run out of the house with cash and a cellphone stolen from his girlfriend’s purse.
Williams’ friend was able to run to a neighbor’s house and lead police to the grisly scene.
Police believe Martin continued his rampage by carjacking a woman’s 2006 Suzuki at gunpoint the next day and fleeing to Florida. Two days later, he barged into a house in Milton, near Pensacola, with a hammer and demanded gasoline.
A woman in that house stripped the hammer out of his hands, according to police. Martin went outside and tried to steal an ATV but failed. Police used dogs to track and arrest him.
Florida officials refused to extradite Martin back to New Orleans to face charges in the killings at first, according to the District Attorney’s Office. A Florida judge sentenced Martin to life in prison in September 2015 for the hammer incident.
Martin said little as he received another 50 years in prison on Wednesday, and no relatives gave victim-impact testimony on behalf of Williams or her daughter.
A New Orleans grand jury indicted Martin on two counts of first-degree murder, one count of attempted first-degree murder and one count of armed robbery with a firearm in October 2015.
The first-degree murder counts were amended to manslaughter under the terms of the plea agreement.