D.A. Jason Williams secures a guilty verdict in a murder case that scarred the St. Roch Community
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - In a case that Orleans District Attorney Jason Williams prosecuted himself, along with two other ADAs and a jury found Damond Scott guilty of second-degree murder, attempted second-degree murder and obstruction of justice.
“This was an incident that rocked the St. Roch neighborhood. The defendant laid in wait for the victim’s vehicle and turned the 1600 block of Mandeville Street a war zone,” says Williams.
Williams says back in January of 2017, Scott terrorized the people who lived in that neighborhood. Many people witnessed the mayhem that day, but few were brave enough to come forward.
“Despite the number of people who were out there on that scene, only one of them was in court to testify. That is what we have to address in the city of New Orleans,” says Williams.
He says as his office works to prosecute the most violent offenders, getting witnesses and victims to testify is a serious challenge.
“We need all of us participating and cooperating to truly make us safe, so I am imploring everyone in this city to work with this DA’s office, to work with our victims and witness advocates to allow us to bring you closure and justice,” says Williams.
Williams says the need for more witnesses and victims to testify is especially important in domestic violence cases. According to the Metropolitan Crime Commission, the DA’s office closed 106 domestic violence felony cases this year.
“Over 56 percent of the felony cases that closed year to date are resolved either by dismissal or a misdemeanor plea,” says Rafael Goyeneche.
“Domestic violence cases are some of the most difficult cases we get,” says Williams.
Williams says that’s mainly because of the relationship between the victim and the perpetrator in domestic cases.
“You have the person who called the police, the person who was injured and hurt is the same person coming to this office to say I don’t want to go forward and it’s tough,” says Williams.
“That’s something that he needs to pay attention to because those statistics indicate that there are problems,” says Goyeneche.
Williams says his office’s goal is to get involved with domestic violence situations sooner to provide victims with the tools they need to stop the violence.
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