Back on July 26th, at 2AM, Merritt Landry, a family man with a pregnant wife, heard his dog barking at something outside his home in the Marigny District of New Orleans. Going out to investigate, Landry encountered another person lurking in the dark inside his gated yard. Landry was lawfully carrying his firearm and, feeling threatened by this person inside his home's fenced perimeter, he fired that weapon and shot the intruder.
It might have ended right there but for the fact that it happened right after George Zimmerman was acquitted of shooting Trayvon Martin in Florida. You see, Merritt Landry is a white male who lives in a gentrifying (read: growing increasingly white) neighborhood in New Orleans. The intruder in his yard, Marshal Coulter, happened to be a 14 year old who didn't live anywhere around there and had a history of burglary charges. Marshal Coulter, who was captured on a neighbor's security camera climbing over Landry's fence while an accomplice acted as a look-out, also happened to be black.
Merritt Landry, a long-time city employee with a clean background, was arrested, booked on a charge of attempted second-degree murder, and released on bond. Louisiana does recognize the "stand your ground" defense that was never a factor in the Zimmerman case despite numerous media talking heads railing against it. But then the protests and pressure came, all of it from groups of people from outside the neighborhood, most of whom looked a lot like the defendant. Several street-corner "Reverends" and other self-appointed "community leaders" with bullhorns shouted about race and stormed a rally made of of Landry's neighbors that was meant to support Landry. But it's a bit harder to get upset over a case like this, where a man was arguably defending not just himself but his home and his pregnant wife therein. The anger of the local race-baiters never really got traction here and media attention by and large faded. Since Landry's arrest, his case has languished with a Grand Jury panel that can't seem to make up it's mind one was or another. And now that Grand Jury's term is at an end, with no indictment issued and no decision made either way.
No decision in case of Marigny homeowner who shot unarmed teenager
Here's hoping that the D.A.'s office just lets it go now. The shot thug is still alive, although he probably won't be burglarizing anyone else for a while, and no innocent parties were harmed. Landry and his family have been through enough and few honest citizens are going to cry if the city leaves him be and focuses it's limited resources on prosecuting the real criminals who, unlike Merritt Landry, actually pose a threat to the rest of society.
Free Merritt Landry.
BTW: It appears that part of the problem that the DA is having with this case revolves around being able to produce the only witness who was at the scene that night--Marshal Coulter's younger brother, Devin Coulter, who was allegedly the look-out. You see, young Devin's just been charged in other, more recent crimes of violence, including armed robbery of a 72-year old.
CBD armed robbery suspects identified; at least 4 are teens
Oh--and little Devin is only 13. Maybe the DA should just worry about him and his co-defendant pals, and any other Coulter family members who might still be out there.