Former death row inmate is arrested for attempted murder

Former death row inmate is arrested for attempted murder

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - After the Louisiana Supreme Court overturned his murder conviction and death penalty, Dan Bright found himself back in court, this time accused of attempted second-degree murder.

“It is unusual for someone to be convicted, have a verdict overturned and down the road be charged with a similar violent crime,” said legal analyst Bobby Hjortsberg.

Police said on Wednesday afternoon (March 13), Bright stabbed a 44-year-old man multiple times in the 1200 block of Delery St. in the Lower Ninth Ward. The arrest warrant states that Bright and the victim got into a physical fight when Bright, also known as Poonie, pulled out a knife and stabbed the victim in the forehead, arm, thigh and back. Detectives said a witness and concerned citizen told them, “She feared for her life and didn’t want to be ‘next’.” The warrant also stated, “The victim was visibly afraid when asked who stabbed him.”

“For these individuals to say that they’re scared or don’t want to participate is not unusual, especially for a case that involves violence,” Hjortsbert said.

According to court documents, people in the neighborhood also told police, “Bright bragged several times about how he was once found guilty of murder and how the Innocence Project helped him get out of jail.”

Bright did, in fact, face the death penalty in a 1996 murder conviction. The Innocence Project lawyers presented evidence pointing to another man as the killer, and the Louisiana Supreme Court overturned his conviction in 2004 after Bright spent nine years in prison.

“You’d imagine that the state will try to make some effort to use his past alleged conduct against him, and of course, the defense will likely try to keep that out. The fact that the conviction was overturned certainly changes the circumstances,” Hjortsberg said.

As for Bright’s recent arrest for attempted second-degree murder, Hjortsberg said it’s a case that will have to play out.

“I think it’s important to not jump to any conclusion until there’s more information that comes out and more evidence that comes out,” he said.

Bright remains locked up on a $400,000 bond.

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