NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro's office released details today about the conviction of Jawana Gordon, 18, on one count of carjacking. The defendant pled guilty-as-charged to taking a car in the Seventh Ward and will receive an 8-year sentence.
On April 11th of this year, the defendant, who was 17 at the time of the offense, stole the victim's car in the 2000 block of St. Bernard Avenue. The victim got out of her car to quickly go into the store. She left her 5-year old child in the car with the engine running. When the victim came back outside, she noticed her child sitting on the ground crying. NOPD officers spotted the vehicle later that afternoon. When they attempted to pull it over, the defendant fled. Officers had to discontinue the chase out of concern for public safety.
Following a television report regarding the carjacking, a concerned citizen notified the police of the whereabouts of the car. When officers attempted to apprehend the defendant, he again fled on foot requiring the NOPD to call in the K-9 unit. Footage from the security camera identified the defendant as the perpetrator of the carjacking.
Assistant District Attorneys Taylor Anthony and Christopher Cortez prosecuted the case.
On March 28, 2016, less than two weeks before the carjacking, the defendant pled guilty-as-charged to one count of simple burglary. In that case, Judge Flemings-Davillier gave the defendant a suspended sentence.
In response to the conviction, District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro stated, "This young defendant was given a second chance by Judge Flemings-Davillier when she chose to give him a suspended sentence. However, the defendant squandered that chance by committing a more serious offense after less than two week on probation."
Pursuant to the terms of the agreement, the District Attorney required that the defendant be sentenced to no less than 8-years in the Department of Corrections.