State grand jury returns no decision in Merritt Landry case

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - A state grand jury met Thursday, but did not reach a decision on the Merritt Landry case.

In July, police booked Landry for attempted second-degree murder after investigators say he shot and injured 14-year-old Marshall Coulter, who had allegedly climbed over a locked fence on Landry's Marigny property.

Thursday evening, Landry was inside Orleans District Criminal Court, but when the grand jury delivered its findings for the day, there was no mention of his case.

"It must obviously mean they're still chewing the cud on this one," said FOX 8 legal analyst Joe Raspanti. "They're still working on it, and I believe they have another week to do so."

Over the summer, the case sparked controversy as critics said Landry's reaction was excessive, while supporters argued he had a right to protect his family.

Raspanti says the circumstances surrounding the encounter between Landry and Coulter make it a difficult case.

"What did (Landry) believe was going on? Was (Coulter) breaking into his house? Did (Landry) think that he was in danger of great bodily harm? Was his wife and children in danger? All of this is going to go into the decision by the grand jury," Raspanti said.

Thursday night, a spokesman for the district attorney said the case is still an open investigation, but wouldn't comment further. The grand jury is expected to carry over its consideration of the case into next week.

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