Double murder suspect, out on bond, murdered while heading to court

Published: Mar. 24, 2022 at 5:57 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 24, 2022 at 5:58 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A crime watchdog raises concerns about the snowball effect of crime, after Wednesday’s murder of a man who was out on bond, in spite of two second-degree murder charges pending against him. Hollis Carter was killed in Gentilly, after his arrest for the murders of an Edna Karr High School student and his sister last March.

21-year-old Carter was shot to death Wednesday morning in front of a place that has trained dozens of ministers.

“When they heard it everybody turned and they saw a gentleman standing out with his rifle pointing in the car,” said Pastor Mike Smith, with Bethel Baptist Community Church.

Carter was out on bond in spite of being charged with 2 counts of second-degree murder, for the March 2021 deaths of 18-year-old Karr High student Caleb Johnson and his 25-year-old sister Breyiana Brown, who was killed wearing an ankle monitor. She was released from jail in spite of a manslaughter guilty verdict, which was thrown out because it was rendered by a non-unanimous jury.

“Even the attorney representing the deceased called it street justice and he’s absolutely right,” said Rafael Goyeneche with the Metropolitan Crime Commission. He is among those who question whether Carter should’ve been out on bond at all. In addition to 2 second-degree murder charges, Hollis was also charged with attempted second-degree murder obstruction of justice and illegal carrying of a weapon.

“Even though Breyiana Brown was the target, her brother was murdered and his acquaintance who was there was also wounded showing the collateral damage,” said Goyeneche.

Hollis’s bond was set at $300,000, according to court documents. He was shot to death while being driven to a court appearance by his mother, who was also wounded.

“Shots went off, within moments the lady who is the driver fell out of the car,” said Pastor Smith.

Witnesses were stunned to see the brutality of Hollis’s murder in front of the cemetery in broad daylight they were all also startled to see the wounding of his mother.

“She was hurt she couldn’t feel her legs and they called the police. She kept saying my baby, he’s in the car is he ok? They didn’t tell her that he was deceased they just sent her to the hospital,” said Smith.

Carter’s mother is reported to be in critical condition after an apparent retribution shooting which some say could’ve been avoided.

“This is a case where I believe the judge needs to drill down and do their due diligence and they can reduce the potential for this occurring,” said Goyeneche.

Goyeneche urges judges to take a look at the totality of the circumstances surrounding a crime before setting bonds which he says all too often lead to the release of suspects who are involved in more shootings.

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