Prosecutors in New Orleans District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office on Monday filed manslaughter, attempted murder and illegal gun possession charges against the man who was arrested following a shooting on Bourbon Street that left a local nurse dead earlier this year.
The manslaughter charge is reduced from a count of murder with which police booked Louis Barnes, 37, in the shooting death of Julie Couvillon, 36, during the early morning of Feb. 24. Couvillon was walking past Willie’s Chicken Shack in the 400 block of Bourbon when she was fatally shot in the neck while Barnes and a security guard fought over a gun belonging to the guard, who was trying to eject Barnes from Willie’s Chicken Shack, a statement from Cannizzaro’s office said.
Cannizzaro’s office said “a careful review of case evidence” led prosecutors to conclude that they could not prove a murder case against Barnes, whose attorney has denied that Barnes pulled the trigger of the gun in question.
The New Orleans man who is accused of snatching a gun from a security guard at a Bourbon Street fried-chicken restaurant and fatally shooting …
Barnes faces between 10 and 50 years in prison if convicted of attempting to murder the security guard, who was also struck by gunfire during the fight in question. He could face a maximum of 40 years in prison – but no mandatory minimum punishment – if convicted of manslaughter in Couvillon’s death. He could also face between five and 25 years in prison if convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
In a statement, Cannizzaro’s office said Barnes could face life imprisonment if prosecutors successfully argue that he is a multiple felony offender. Life imprisonment is the mandatory punishment for murder convictions.
Generally, manslaughter in Louisiana is an illegal killing without intent.
"The inability to prove the specific intent of murder does not diminish in any way the tragedy of Ms. Couvillon's death nor our determination to achieve justice on her behalf," Cannizzaro said in a statement.
In other matters recently handled by local authorities:
• Curtis Cash, 43, was the man who was fatally shot Friday near the intersection of Interstate 10 East and Bullard Avenue, the Orleans Parish Coroner’s Office said Monday.
• The Drug Enforcement Administration field division in charge of a four-state region that includes Louisiana collected more than 45,000 pounds of expired, unused or unwanted prescription drugs during an April 27 “take back” day, officials said Monday. More than 7,000 of those pounds were in Louisiana, with the rest of the amount coming from collections in Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas.
These types of “take back” days are considered an important part of law enforcement authorities’ strategy against limiting drug overdose deaths during the national opioid addiction crisis.
• Shayne Davis, 30, is wanted in connection with a shooting that occurred outside a local business in the 900 block of LeBouef Street in Algiers on Sunday, New Orleans police said Monday. The victim was struck multiple times but was not considered to have life-threatening injuries, police said.
• Police on Monday released surveillance camera photos of a man suspected of an armed robbery and shooting in the 6000 block of Chef Menteur Highway in New Orleans East on Friday.
• Alvin Glapion, 41, was arrested on allegations that he used a fishing knife to stab a 42-year-old man during a fight at the corner of Poland and St. Claude avenues in Bywater about 12:25 a.m. Monday, New Orleans police said. Glapion also allegedly punched the victim repeatedly during a fight that erupted while the two men were fishing.
• About 8:10 p.m. in the 2000 block of Canal Street on Sunday, a woman reported being raped by a man she did not know and met at a bar, New Orleans police said. The address suggests the report was made at University Medical Center.
• A bystander fired a gunshot at a man who had just robbed a Waffle House of cash at gunpoint in the 2900 block of Elysian Fields Avenue about 6:25 a.m. Monday, New Orleans police said. The robber also allegedly stole a cellphone from two women sitting in a car outside the restaurant before fleeing, police said. It was unclear if the robber was hit by gunfire.
• There were several other robberies reported across New Orleans between Sunday afternoon and Sunday night.
Bag snatchings were reported in the 4300 block of Stemway Drive, 8700 block of Apricot Street and at the corner of Port and North Ramparts streets, police said. Cell phone snatchings occurred in the 300 block of North Front Street, between Bienville and Conti streets on the eastern edge of the French Quarter, as well as the 2800 block of Saint Ann Street, in the Bayou St. John neighborhood.
A 15-year-old boy was robbed of belongings at the corner of Dwyer Road and Michoud Boulevard in New Orleans East at gunpoint by three people, whom he followed to the scene of the robbery after meeting them while leaving a store at the corner of Michoud and Chef Menteur Highway about 2:15 p.m., police said.
A woman wielding pepper spray stole the car keys of another woman with whom she got into a car accident about 2:20 p.m. The women relocated to 8200 block of Chef Menteur Highway, where one approached the car of the other with pepperspray before reaching in the vehicle, taking the keys out of the ignition and fleeing in her own car, police said.
This report was compiled by staff writer Ramon Antonio Vargas