An Orleans Parish grand jury on Thursday handed up a second-degree murder charge against the man accused of fatally shooting the son of former pro boxer Fouad “Fred” Zeton Sr. in the French Quarter this summer.
James Nero Jr., 21, would face mandatory life imprisonment if eventually convicted of murdering former co-worker Fouad Zeton Jr., 31. Nero has been in jail in lieu of $250,000 bond since shortly after the Aug. 2 – the amount was left unchanged after his indictment, Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office said.
On the early morning he was killed, Zeton went to his ex-workplace – Attiki Bar & Grill in the 200 block of Decatur Street – and argued with Nero over what time Nero should close the business that day. Video surveillance cameras then captured Nero getting a gun from another man parked nearby moments before he shot Zeton outside the bar, Cannizzaro’s office said.
Zeton died at a local hospital a short time later. Nero rested his gun on the street and waited for authorities to arrive following the shooting, according to Cannizzaro’s office.
During a past career as a prizefighter, Zeton’s father was a sparring partner to the legendary former heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield. A well-known political donor and owner of the restaurant Ali Baba, the elder Zeton is friends with a number of local politicians, among them New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell and Orleans Parish Criminal District Court Judge Darryl Derbigny.
Later Thursday, Zeton held a news conference expressing his anger that the man who allegedly handed Nero the gun isn't being prosecuted by authorities.
"He sat there the whole time to watch (him) be killed," Zeton said.
Based on the date of the killing, Nero’s case is set to be allotted to Criminal District Court Judge Robin Pittman.
In other cases:
• Kelvin Boykins, 49, was indicted Thursday in a deadly bayonet stabbing Aug. 28 outside a 7th Ward store. He is charged with the second-degree murder of Ronald Pitts, who was killed during an encounter after he shoplifted a six-pack of beer from the Manchu Food Store in the 1400 block of North Claiborne Avenue, Cannizzaro’s office said. He was also charged with stabbing a man’s left forearm four days earlier in the same block after the victim intervened when Boykins threatened to take money from a woman outside the Cajun Seafood grocery. He’s accused of murder, aggravated battery and obstruction of justice, stemming from his alleged fleeing.
• Joann McDaniel, 26, was indicted Thursday in the deadly shooting of 17-year-old Tajana Williams in the Desire neighborhood on Aug. 21. Authorities allege McDaniel shot Williams in the head during an argument in the 2900 block of Ursula Spencer Way, and she is accused of second-degree murder.
Fouad “Fred” Zeton Sr. hoped to have dinner with his 31-year-old son on Wednesday, but Fouad Jr. bowed out, saying he had plans to go by the F…