NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - The family of one of the victims shot on Mardi Gras in the CBD is upset the DA’s office didn’t contact them before making a plea deal with the shooter.
“It’s hard that they didn’t think enough just to contact us,” said Allieta Butler-Blue, the aunt of Sam Butler III.
Butler was shot in the head on Mardi Gras and has been in the hospital since. Butler-Blue says she wanted to give a victim impact statement at the shooter’s sentencing but never got the chance.
"To tell the young man we forgive him as a family, just to have a say. Sam never got that," Butler-Blue said.
A spokesperson for the District Attorney’s office says 21-year-old Christopher Bordere pleaded guilty to the illegal use of a weapon during a violent crime last month. That’s when the DA’s office says it tried to reach Butler’s family, and even got the judge to delay sentencing, but didn’t have the correct contact information.
"If I knew about that, I would've moved the world and the sea just to be there. Just to be able to let someone in the court system know how this has impacted Sam's life," Butler-Blue said.
Last week, a judge ended up sentencing Bordere to 10 years in prison.
“I’m OK with that. It’s just, the victim wasn’t ever acknowledged,” Butler-Blue said.
According to the DA’s office, surveillance video captured parts of a chase involving the two people shot and the gunman. In the video, prosecutors say Bordere fired behind him as he was running from several people near Union and Carondelet streets, striking Butler in the head and another person in the leg.
“We didn’t even know that. The DA never reached out to us. We had no idea other than what the detective had shared in the beginning of what happened. I never saw video,” Butler-Blue said.
In a statement, the DA's office says it regrets the breakdown in communications.
“That hurt my heart that he didn’t even have a voice at all,” said Butler-Blue, “The judge didn’t even know. He didn’t even know how hurt he is, how hurt Sam is.”
According to the DA’s office, Bordere’s 10-year prison sentence will be served without probation, parole or suspension.
Butler is still recovering at the hospital but is expected to return home next month.