Suspect arrested in slaying of 14-year-old boy

Milton Bangham, 31
Milton Bangham, 31

Police describe the man accused of gunning down a 14-year-old boy in Central City as someone who has "chosen a life of crime."

Wednesday afternoon, officers arrested 31-year-old Milton Bangham in connection with the murder of Edward Barton. Police say Barton was shot to death while sitting on a porch near the intersection of Sixth and Danneel early Sunday evening.

"The death of anyone on the streets of New Orleans is tragic, but when it's a 14-year-old boy who is just sitting on his stoop, this brings into focus and should, I hope, ignite the passions of the people of New Orleans to say enough is enough," said Mayor Mitch Landrieu.

Just a couple hours before Bangham's arrest Wednesday, Landrieu and NOPD Superintendent Ronal Serpas held a news conference, offering details about the suspect's lengthy rap sheet – one that includes 10 felony arrests and 40 misdemeanors.

"All of his arrests and charges circle around guns, drugs and violence," Serpas said. "He has been arrested for illegal firearms. He's been on probation more than once for crack and meth. He's been arrested for domestic violence. He's been arrested for breaking into people's houses. He's been arrested for resisting an officer. He's been arrested for trespass, assault and simple battery. Mr. Bangham has no place on the streets of the city of New Orleans."

Now, Bangham faces a second-degree murder charge in the Sunday killing.

Authorities said many neighbors, some of them children, witnessed the crime. Because of that, Serpas said detectives were able to quickly identify Bangham as the suspect.

According to a spokesman for Orleans District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro, prosecutors did convict Bangham on a drug charge, but the spokesman said the vast majority of his arrests happened under the previous administration.

Bangham is currently on parole for possession with the intent to distribute cocaine.  Now, however, he faces his most serious charge yet.

"This adult killed a baby, killed a baby on Sunday afternoon. When I learned these details from the homicide detectives, I was shaken. I think we're all shaken when a child is killed. This community will rally together to hold this man accountable. He has no conscience and had no conscience when he committed this crime," Serpas said.