Jury selected in fatal 2014 Bourbon Street gunfight
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A 12-member jury was selected Monday in the trial of the only person arrested after a 2014 gunfight on Bourbon Street that left a bystander dead and nine others hurt.
Opening statements and witness testimony are expected Tuesday in the case of Trung Le, 22, who is charged with manslaughter, which carries a possible 40-year sentence, and attempted second-degree murder, with a maximum 50-year sentence. His defense lawyer has said Le fired in self-defense when the shooting broke out.
“Good morning, y’all, I’m Trung Le,” the defendant said as state District Judge Byron Williams gave the defense team and prosecutors a chance to introduce themselves to three dozen potential jurors Monday morning.
Le, from nearby Belle Chasse, has been jailed since his 2014 arrest, with bond set at $250,000. On Monday, before potential jurors entered the courtroom, he was allowed to change clothes, exchanging orange prison garb and shackles for a crisp white shirt and cream-colored sweater.
He is charged with manslaughter, which carries a possible 40-year prison sentence, and attempted second-degree murder, which could mean 50 years in prison.
Prosecutors say Le is one of two people involved in a gunfight at 2:45 a.m. Sunday, June 29, 2014. Tourists were still strolling along the famous French Quarter strip of bars and restaurants when the violence began. Bullets struck 10, killing a 21-year-old woman from Hammond, Louisiana. Among the wounded were visitors from Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Florida and Australia.
Le’s lawyer has said the 22-year-old fired in self-defense to save himself and others from a still-unidentified gunman.
Friends who were with him that night were among potential witnesses listed, along with some three-dozen New Orleans police officers, detectives and other police personnel.
Defense lawyer Martin Regan requested that the trial be moved to another city prior to jury selection, citing pre-trial publicity that he said could influence potential jurors in New Orleans. Williams refused.