Simon Morris mug

Simon Morris, via OPSO

Simon Morris snapped when a man swiped his wallet outside an Uptown gasoline station Friday morning.

He chased the thief across the street and beat him to death with his fists and feet, New Orleans police said.

Morris, 31, faces a count of manslaughter after the killing of a man identified in court records only by the name Edwin.

According to police, Edwin approached Morris and asked him for a dollar outside the Express Mart Gas Station at 4140 S. Claiborne Ave. about 8:20 a.m. Friday. But Edwin then reached into Morris’ back pocket, snatched his wallet and ran across South Claiborne at Milan Street.

Morris caught up with him in the rear driveway of Hi Class Customs, an upholstery and window tinting shop at 4201 S. Claiborne. Morris wrested his wallet back and then began beating on Edwin with his fists, police said.

At least two people tried to restrain Morris. But he kept punching and then started kicking Edwin, who “was begging Morris to stop and was attempting to cover his face and body,” police said.

Morris battered Edwin’s head and body “for a duration of five minutes or more,” police said. He didn’t stop until one of the witnesses managed to pull him off. The witness said he feared Morris would try to beat him up as well, according to police.

Paramedics took Edwin to University Medical Center for treatment, but he died there not long after arrival.

Officers detained Morris and later secured a warrant to jail him on a count of manslaughter.

In Louisiana, manslaughter is defined as a killing that is carried out in the heat of passion following a provocation that would cause an ordinary person to lose self-control. The crime calls for a maximum of 40 years in prison but doesn’t include a mandatory minimum punishment.

Morris made an initial court appearance Friday evening in front of Orleans Parish Magistrate Commissioner Brigid Collins. She set his bail at $150,000. 

Man arrested after fight in Broadmoor turns deadly, New Orleans police say

Follow Ramon Antonio Vargas on Twitter, @RVargasAdvocate.

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