Judge Marullo takes the bench after becoming carjack victim - FOX 8, WVUE, fox8live.com, weather, app, news, saints

Judge Marullo takes the bench after becoming carjack victim

Criminal Court Judge Frank Marullo (File) Criminal Court Judge Frank Marullo (File)

New Orleans, La. — Veteran Criminal Court Judge Frank Marullo was on the bench dealing with accused criminals Wednesday, after becoming a crime victim himself the night before.

"I just think carjackings are random, but I don't expect it in this block," said Michael Matthew Molloy, who lives in the neighborhood where the judge's car was taken.

"I've talked to Judge Marullo, he's not injured... certainly he's not injured physically, but he's certainly injured as a citizen," said New Orleans Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas.

Chief Serpas said Marullo was attacked after stepping out of his car in the 7900 block of Birch Street in the Carrollton area, near his home.

Police arrested three suspects who allegedly made off with the judge's car.  They are identified as Leonard Robinson and Demetrious Givens, both 18 years of age, and a 16-year-old juvenile whose name has not been released.  All are booked with carjacking and possession of stolen property.

Even though cops recovered Marullo's car he will not be driving it anytime soon, if at all. "There was a brief chase, the car was crashed," said the police chief.

And despite what Marullo experienced, few in the legal community are shocked that he was back on the bench at Criminal Court the next morning.

"Frank Marullo is a tough guy. I would have been surprised had he not shown up," said FOX 8 legal analyst Joe Raspanti.

Raspanti has represented numerous clients at the courthouse where Marullo sits as a judge. He believes the incident puts more pressure on the mayor and police chief to reign in crime citywide. "I think we may be coming to a tipping point, let's hope so anyway," added Raspanti.

And Raspanti said given who the victim is, if the suspects end up going on trial at the criminal courthouse at Tulane and Broad, it may be hard to nail down a judge to preside over the proceedings.

"You may see an entire bench [of judges] recuse themselves. They may have to bring in another judge for this, but I think that Judge Marullo will make a credible eyewitness in this case," said Raspanti.

Meanwhile, Molloy said he will keep walking the neighborhood while staying aware of his surroundings.

Violent crime has touched his family.  "One of my daughters got knocked down and a gun put in her mouth," Molloy said.

In another development, the Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office reports two of the suspects had just been released from the Electronic Monitoring Program on Monday.

FOX 8 received this statement from the Sheriff's Office's media representatives, the Ehrhardt Group:

"Neither suspect, Demetrius Givens or the juvenile, was in the Electronic Monitoring Program (EMP) at the time of this crime. The Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office removed both suspects from the EMP after they violated the rules of the program and restrictions placed by the judge, and neither has been in the program since May 20, 2013.

"After being removed from the program, Demetrius Givens was remanded by a judge who then increased his bond to $20,000. The individual made bond. At that time, he was not remanded to the custody of the Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office and was not placed back on EMP.

"The second suspect, a juvenile, has not been a client of EMP since May 20, 2013, when he was remanded by a judge, who opted to remove him from the program."

FOX 8 also received this news release on the crime and arrests from NOPD Wednesday evening:

New Orleans Police arrested two men and a juvenile within an hour after committing a carjacking that occurred last night, shortly before 10:00 P.M., in the 7900 block of Birch Street.

Officers picked up 18-year-old Demetrius Givens, 18-year-old Leonard Robinson, and a 16-year-old juvenile after robbing the victim of his wallet and his 2011 white four-door Mercedes Benz.  The victim was exiting his vehicle when he was approached by the three subjects who then physically took his wallet out of his pants pocket and his keys, then fled in his vehicle.

While officers were interviewing the victim, a citizen called in a suspicious person near the intersection of Walmsley Street and Panama Court.  The caller stated that subjects had just exited two dark colored pick-up trucks and entered a white Mercedes Benz.   Officers, believing the Mercedes Benz was the same vehicle that had just been taken, relocated to the intersection where the trucks were located, but not the Mercedes Benz.

After a check of the trucks, it was learned that they were both stolen yesterday.  One truck, a 2011 black Dodge Ram pick-up truck, was stolen at approximately 3:40 A.M., in the 200 block of North Jefferson Davis Parkway.  The victim had left his vehicle running while he went into a residence. The second truck, a 2012 black Dodge Ram pick-up truck, was stolen at approximately 3:40 P.M., at the intersection of O'Keefe Avenue and Lafayette Street where the victim had parked and secured his vehicle.

As the officers were conducting their investigation on the stolen trucks, they observed the white Mercedes Benz return to the area.  The officers attempted to get behind the vehicle and conduct a traffic stop, but the subjects sped off and the officers lost sight of the vehicle.  Moments later, detectives in the area located the vehicle and found it to have crashed into the utility pole and came to rest on its side in the 3500 block of Leonidas Street.   The subjects were then seen running from the vehicle at which time a perimeter was established and all three subjects were located and detained. 

Officers picked up Givens walking near the intersection of Palm and Leonidas Streets and shortly thereafter, Robinson and the juvenile were located sitting on a porch in the 8600 block of Palm Street. 

The victim was relocated to the scene where he positively identified the subjects as those who robbed him.  Due to the accident, the subjects were taken to the hospital as a precautionary measure and subsequently booked with Carjacking and Illegal possession of Stolen Things.

In January, the 1st District arrested Demetrius Givens on a Simple Robbery in Mid-City.  Givens has previously been arrested for Simple Robbery, Attempted Unauthorized Burglary of a Business, Resisting Arrest and attachments. 

Leonard Robinson has previously been arrested for Carrying a Concealed Weapon and Criminal Trespassing. 

"These Second District officers did a tremendous, well-coordinated job in arresting these three suspects.  This was police work at its best, and the people of New Orleans are safer tonight because of it", said Superintendent Ronal Serpas.

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