‘Slap to the face’: Victim upset after alleged shooter is recommended for non-secure facility

Published: Feb. 9, 2022 at 6:07 PM CST
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - “It wasn’t even a shock. It was more like a slap to the face,” says Darrelle Scott.

Darrelle Scott describes his reaction when he found out the juvenile who shot him could soon move to a non-secure facility.

“I get by, but it’s a struggle pretty much 24/7,” says Scott.

Darrelle’s life changed forever in 2019, when then 13-year-old Lynell Reynolds robbed and shot him in New Orleans East. Darrelle’s paralyzed and says he lives in constant pain.

He, and his grandmother, Dorthy White, attended multiple zoom court hearings over the last year after a motion was filed to modify Reynolds’ juvenile life sentence for attempted murder.

Darrelle’s privately hired attorney, Ralph Brandt was present for those hearings, along with the Assistant District Attorney and Juvenile Public Defender.

“It was a review of his probation status and ruling on the motion. The Judge listened to the testimony and found that he had not complied with the terms of early release, so she denied the motion and said the defense was free to re-file the motion at any time. That was the last time that we knew of the case,” says Brandt.

Then, Darrelle’s grandmother, Dorthy White, says she received a call from the District Attorney’s Office.

“They notified me that they dropped the ball and apologized to me that I was not notified of the hearing and that Lynell Reynolds was being stepped down to a group home,” says White.

“Ms. Dorthy had not been notified of anything and nor did I. We had always notified the court that we wanted to participate as they were entitled to under the Victim’s Rights Legislation and the Constitution,” says Brandt.

They say no one from the D.A.’s Office told them about the hearing.

The D.A.’s Chief Administrative Officer, Tyronne Walker, would not answer our questions about whether the D.A.’s office notified the victim, but pointed out the ADA did disagree on the record with the move.

“We opposed the transfer of this person from a secure juvenile facility to a non-secure juvenile facility and that’s the job of the ADA’s and that’s what they’re doing in court every single day,” says Tyronne Walker.

Darrelle and his family are upset about the Judge’s recommendation to transfer Reynolds.

“Someone had punched me in the gut. I could not believe it,” says White.

“We went through all these court hearings and everything,” says Darrelle.

Juvenile Judge Candice Anderson says rehabilitation and public safety is always top of mind. She says she felt the non-secure placement would give Reynolds the educational opportunities he needed and the chance to have some contact with the community, while still in the custody of the Office of Juvenile Justice outside of Orleans Parish.

“My biggest fear is that he is going to get out,” says Darrelle.

Darrelle says he worries the next step for Reynolds will be released, and that it could come much sooner than he wants.

Judge Anderson sentenced Reynolds, back in 2019, to juvenile life, meaning he won’t be released until he’s 21 years old unless his sentence is modified.

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