Man convicted in French Quarter death of Marine - FOX 8 WVUE New Orleans News, Weather, Sports

Man convicted in French Quarter death of Marine

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New Orleans, La. - One year after the death of her son, Lucy Lekosky returned to where he was killed, the corner of Dauphine and Iberville in the French Quarter.

"I want justice," she told FOX 8 in November of 2011. "I want to know why Melvin Clay killed my son."

Another year later, Lekosky says she's happy with the outcome of Clay's trial.

A jury found the 39-year-old guilty of 2nd degree murder in the death of 23-year-old Marine Sergeant Ryan Lekosky.

Prosecutors say Clay yelled at Lekosky's wife as the two were leaving a Marine ball on Halloween of 2010.

Kristen Lekosky confronted Clay and investigators say he got out of his car and pushed her to the ground.

Ryan Lekosky, in his Marine uniform, intervened and Clay stabbed him seven times.

"This is a person who went out and served our country," says Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro. "He was trying to enjoy himself with his family on a holiday and he had to unfortunately suffer a very very sad ending."

Cannizzaro says Clay was working in New Orleans as a pimp at the time of the murder. He fled to Houston after the crime, burning the clothes in which he killed Lekosky and getting rid of the knife.

His defense tried to paint Lekosky's wife as the aggressor, saying she threw the first punch.

Attorneys for Clay said he acted in self defense.

Kristen Lekosky smiled and teared up when the judge read the verdict. She had no comment though as she left the courthouse.

Lucy Lekosky had just a few words after the verdict.

"They did a good job, the prosecutors did a really good job," she says. "That's all I want to say.'

Cannizzaro says the conviction speaks to the tough stance his office takes to violent crime in the Quarter.

"Any place where a murder occurs, it's certainly important," he says. "But here we had a murder that took place in the French Quarter and I think it's certainly important that we send a message out that we're going to defend the French Quarter as aggressively and vigorously as we can."

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