By WWL Staff | WWL-TV | March 8, 2023
NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans District Attorney Jason Williams said Tuesday that his office is reviewing transcripts after charges were refused in more than a dozen gun cases against individuals arrested on Lundi Gras.
In a news conference announcing a partnership with Morris Bart‘s law firm, Williams said his office will make sure it won’t happen again.
On Mardi Gras, Assistant District Attorney Emily Maw refused charges at first appearance hearings in 19 cases, including 15 cases involving the illegal carrying of weapons. In those cases, the charges were reportedly dropped on the condition that the guns were seized.
One of those cases was against LSU football star Malik Nabers who was accused of illegally carrying a weapon on Bourbon Street. At Nabers’ first court appearance on Mardi Gras, an attorney with the New Orleans District Attorney’s Office refused charges on the condition that the gun was not returned to Nabers.
Williams later said he would launch an “extensive internal review” and that Maw’s decision was “improper and does not represent our office policy or procedure.”
Rafael Goyeneche, the president of the Metropolitan Crime Commission, said typically prosecutors would set bail at first court appearances. On Tuesday, Williams confirmed that bonds were set at other first appearances over Mardi Gras and that is what should have happened in the cases that were ultimately refused.
“Some of those cases are going to be accepted and prosecuted across the street,” Williams said. “Two of those cases are viable for federal adoption because there is a federal nexus, especially in regards to the case involving the gentleman from Tennessee with the modified machine gun. That would fall under the bailiwick of federal authorities and we plan on making such a referral. Other cases have been accepted as well.”
The New Orleans Police Department said officers cracked down on illegal gun possession during Carnival, seizing nearly 250 firearms.