New Orleans man Robert LeBlanc has had a good May.
On May 14, his girlfriend gave birth to his son. And two days of trial later, an Orleans Parish jury acquitted him of attempted murder counts in a 2015 incident where three Louisiana State Police troopers fell under fire.
Investigators had alleged that LeBlanc was behind the wheel of a stolen Chevrolet Silverado on the night of Dec. 11, 2015 when plainclothes troopers spotted it in the parking lot of a Winn-Dixie at 9701 Chef Menteur Highway.
Troopers began following the vehicle. Authorities alleged that LeBlanc stopped the truck to allow a 15-year-old passenger, Quincy Shaw, to open fire on the troopers. None of the law enforcement officers were seriously injured.
Shaw pleaded guilty to three counts of attempted second-degree murder in March 2018. Orleans Parish Criminal District Court Judge Camille Buras sentenced him to 25 years, noting how close the troopers came to serious harm.
LeBlanc decided to take his chances at trial, however. Defense attorneys Tanzanika Ruffin, John Fuller and Marcus DeLarge argued that he actually attempted to stop the shooting. Fuller said he told the jury that the troopers had changed their story to implicate his client.
Police call him a street gang member and named him in the investigation of the shooting of a state trooper.
“I believed in the kid,” said Fuller, who enrolled on the case a week before trial. “It’s tough if not impossible for a 20-year-old kid to face off against the State Police.”
A spokesman for the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office declined to comment.
A third defendant in the case, Damond Scott, has yet to be tried. Another co-defendant, Anthony Crawford, pleaded guilty to unauthorized use of a motor vehicle in April 2018. He was shot to death in New Orleans East in October.