nola411.com for New Orleans updates and info. News and information from New Orleans. NOLA is most associated with the French Quarter when tourists think of the New Orleans. Also popular are the Saints NFL Football Team, Mardi Gras and Jazz Fest. Information from around the web for locals and visitors.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Murder charge dropped 2 days after NOPD arrests man in Algiers fatal shooting


New Orleans police investigated a fatal shooting in the 2600 block of General DeGaulle Drive in Algiers on Thursday, April 25, 2019. (Photo by David Grunfeld, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune)New Orleans police investigated a fatal shooting in the 2600 block of General DeGaulle Drive in Algiers on Thursday, April 25, 2019. (Photo by David Grunfeld, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune)New Orleans police investigated a fatal shooting in the 2600 block of General DeGaulle Drive in Algiers on Thursday, April 25, 2019. (Photo by David Grunfeld, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune)New Orleans police investigated a fatal shooting in the 2600 block of General DeGaulle Drive in Algiers on Thursday, April 25, 2019. (Photo by David Grunfeld, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune)

Two days after a man was arrested by New Orleans police and jailed on a murder charge in connection with a fatal shooting in Algiers on Thursday (April 25), the murder charge was dropped, court records show.

Authorities said Jeremy Straughter, 30, was fatally shot after 2 p.m. Thursday in the 2600 block of General DeGaulle Drive. About four-and-a-half hours after police responded to the scene outside an Algiers gas station, an NOPD homicide detective filled out an affidavit seeking a warrant in the homicide case for Darnell Celestin, 34, on a charge of second-degree murder, according to the affidavit.

Celestin was arrested later that day on Holiday Drive in Algiers and booked into the Orleans Justice Center jail on the murder charge, booking records show. On Friday morning, at Celestin’s first appearance hearing, Orleans Parish Magistrate Judge Harry Cantrell reviewed the affidavit and found it contained enough evidence to support probable cause to hold Celestin, court records show. Cantrell set his bond at $450,000.

The following day, however, Celestin appeared again in court, this time in front of the on-duty weekend magistrate commissioner, Jonathan Friedman, who found no probable cause for the murder charge and issued Celestin’s release on that charge, according to court records.

The April 25 affidavit for Celestin’s arrest on the murder charge, a document sworn by NOPD Homicide Detective Sarah Cherny, cites a witness who said he or she took cover inside a church near the gas station when an argument between Straughter and Celestin grew “very heated." People heard gunshots outside the church, near where the men were located, and police found spent shell casings near the church, the affidavit states.

The affidavit also said that detectives obtained video from the Shell station captured before the fatal shooting, which showed Celestin at the gas station. However, the affidavit did not say what Celestin was shown to be doing in the video.

At Saturday’s hearing in Friedman’s court, Orleans Parish Assistant District Attorney Abigail McDonald called Cherny to the stand to testify, before the commissioner ordered the no probable cause finding, court records show.

NOPD did not immediately respond to a question Thursday afternoon about whether Cherny asked the commissioner for Celestin’s release or if Friedman found her testimony did not support a finding of probable cause.

Celestin remained in jail as of Tuesday afternoon on an unspecified warrant, jail records show. NOPD did not immediately respond when asked what the associated charge was, or details of the allegations.

. . . . . .
Emily Lane covers criminal justice in New Orleans for NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune. Reach her at elane@nola.com. Follow her on Twitter (@emilymlane) or Facebook.
via nola.com
https://www.nola.com
Share:

Blog Archive

NEW ORLEANS Weather

Support