A teen is found guilty of second-degree murder in a New Orleans carjacking that horrified the city
Nov 28, 2023, 10:54 AM
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A now 18-year-old teenager faces life behind bars after being found guilty of second-degree murder in last year’s heinous carjacking and dragging death of a 73-year-old woman in New Orleans.
Jurors deliberated for about four hours Monday before finding the teenager guilty as charged, news outlets reported. He faces a mandatory term of life in prison with a chance at parole after 25 years, The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate reported. Sentencing is set for Jan. 12.
Four teenagers, who ranged in age from 15 to 17, were charged as adults with second-degree murder in Linda Frickey’s March 2022 killing. Three of them — all girls — pleaded guilty on Nov. 20 to attempted manslaughter for their roles in the crime. Each was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Monday’s trial began with the defendant’s attorney telling jurors that his client — then 17 — had committed “terrible” acts against the elderly woman in an attempt to steal her silver Nissan Kicks from where she sat parked.
“He did it. OK? He did it,” said attorney William Boggs, before moving on to whether his client whom he described as “an underdeveloped, underprivileged youth” deserved to be locked away for life at the state’s maximum security prison in Angola, The Times-Picayune/The New Orleans Advocate reported.
“I am going to come to you and say, ‘Let’s not throw away another life,’” Boggs told the jury.
Prosecutors said the four teenagers conspired to steal Frickey’s SUV, each with roles to play in the carjacking. The defendant served as the lead aggressor and getaway driver, said Assistant District Attorney Matthew Derbes.
He pepper-sprayed and punched Frickey and stomped on her face when she fell to the pavement, the prosecutor said. Then, he got into the vehicle and drove, dragging Frickey — who was tangled in the driver’s seatbelt — alongside the car for the length of nearly two football fields.
Leanne Mascar told jurors she watched as what she thought was a mannequin flapped on the side of a vehicle, the newspaper reported.
“Then I heard this voice: ‘Let me go,’” Mascar said.
The defendant was “trying to dislodge this person like a piece of trash had stuck to the car,” she said.
He drove the vehicle over a curb where a utility pole cable ripped Frickey’s arm from her body. Mascar said she ran to Frickey, who was awake, face up, her clothes ripped from her body.
“My first thought was where is all the blood?” Mascar testified. “There was no blood.”
She covered Frickey with a sheet. With her husband, Marc, and several others who had gathered, Mascar prayed over Frickey. “Time was going so slowly,” Mascar recalled.
It would take emergency workers 20 minutes to arrive. By then, Frickey was dead.
Boggs, in his closing arguments, described his client as a child too “dumb” to commit the carjacking, noting that he had tried to get Frickey out of the vehicle with pepper spray.
“You don’t go up to someone in a car, who’s in a seatbelt, and spray them in the face with mace,” Boggs argued. “How are they going to get out? They can’t see.”
“What this means is they are youths. They’re dumb. They don’t know what they’re doing,” Boggs said.
He also blamed parental and community failures for raising up youth with too few options. Still, he admitted his defense relied on the mercy of the jury.
“Sometimes idiot children do awful things,” he said. “But it doesn’t mean that we throw away that child.”
Derbes argued the jury’s decision was simple.
“It goes without saying that … this probably would not have happened had he have had a better upbringing. And yes, those are awful, awful things. But it does not change the law.”