Federal officials have not established any connection between the recent slayings of two New Orleans men and their earlier testimony against local hit man Walter "Urkel" Porter, U.S. Attorney Kenneth Polite said Friday.
Porter was convicted in June along with Central City drug kingpin Telly Hankton and two Hankton cousins.
One of three people killed in a shooting last week in Mid-City was a witness in the recent f…
A New Orleans Police Department spokesman declined to say whether police have found any motive for the slaying this month of Bobby Basquine in a triple killing in Mid-City.
Basquine, 22, was killed along with Glenquel Emerson, 20, and Darome Hilton, 34, when gunfire tore through the 3700 block of Ulloa Street late on Oct. 4.
Minutes before the bullets started flying Tuesday night, Judith Heslop got an upset stomach …
He was the second witness against Porter to be shot and killed since a federal jury in late June convicted the four men after a three-week trial.
Gerard Howard, 40, a former associate of Porter, was gunned down Aug. 3 in the 2600 block of Upperline Street.
Police have not named a suspect in either slaying.
But Polite said no evidence of a connection to the trial has emerged.
Polite said federal prosecutors are careful to caution witnesses who return to the street after testifying, in some cases offering to relocate them.
"We are typically in communication with them to match them up with resources in the community. That is something I know we did with him as well," Polite said of Basquine.
He declined to specify just what guidance Basquine received upon his July 9 release from state prison after serving about three years of a 10-year sentence.
Basquine pleaded guilty in November 2013 to being a felon in possession of a firearm, plus cocaine, heroin and marijuana counts.
A state corrections spokesman said Basquine participated in work-release programs before his release on "good time" parole. He earned an extra year off for taking vocational classes, corrections spokesman Ken Pastorick said.
Polite said Basquine received no leniency in return for his testimony in the racketeering case, in which he described his purchase from Porter of a 9mm pistol that federal authorities linked to three murders and the shooting of a key witness against Telly Hankton.
Walter “Urkel” Porter rarely removed his wire-rim glasses, carried two guns at all times and…
Basquine's mother, Claire Basquine, was adamant that her son's slaying was unrelated to his testimony. She said her son grew up in Mid-City and had returned there to spend time with old friends on the night he and four others were shot.
She said Basquine had been working as a dishwasher at Betsy’s Pancake House while helping his father as an auto mechanic before he was killed.
Whether federal authorities offered to relocate Basquine following his release from prison was unclear, but Polite said witnesses often decline such offers.
"I do know we have had individuals who have been offered the opportunity, and they have specifically rejected it," Polite said. "Their ties to the neighborhood are strong."
Polite said his office has reached out to Basquine's family "to make sure they have all the resources they need."