New Orleans mother angry son’s killer tried as juvenile, can only be jailed to age 21

Published: Aug. 30, 2022 at 10:54 PM CDT
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NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A New Orleans mother is outraged after her son’s killer was allowed to plead guilty in juvenile court, avoiding adult prison time for a quadruple shooting last August.

“I’m still hurt,” Nekisha McGlothen said. “I don’t think I’m as angry as I was when it first happened. I’m angry with the system.”

McGlothen’s son Khyron Nellon was 15 when he was gunned down in the 1600 block of Iberville Street on Aug. 1, 2021. Three others with him were shot but survived their injuries.

The gunman responsible for the shooting -- 15-year-old Frederick Carter -- was turned in by his own mother.

“I’m a mom, so I hurt for his mom, I feel for his mom,” McGlothen said. “I never want anyone to go through the pain of having your kid behind bars, let alone losing a kid. Because I cry every day about mine.

“But I feel like he needs to learn a lesson.”

McGlothen said her fear is that Carter won’t do sufficient time to learn his lesson. He was tried as a juvenile, pled guilty in juvenile court and received a sentence of “juvenile life,” meaning he can only be incarcerated until his 21st birthday under state law.

District Attorney Jason Williams’ decision not to try Carter as an adult has perturbed McGlothen. She said she met face-to-face with Williams earlier this month and left with hope that Carter would face more serious prison time.

“What are you telling the other youth that’s out here, getting into trouble?” she asked. “I don’t like the message that it’s giving. And it’s making life as we know it very fearful, just to be out on the street.”

McGlothen said the decision not to try Carter as an adult sends a message to other New Orleans teens that they essentially can get away with murder and not face repercussions.

“It’s sickening, because I know I can’t get my son back,” she said. “But what about all the other Khyrons that they have out there in the streets? I’m not pleased with it.”

A spokesman for Williams’ office said in a statement, “Each referral screened by the DA’s office is handled on a case-by-case basis to ensure justice and appropriate accountability. In this case, Frederick Carter pled guilty in juvenile court and was sentenced to juvenile life in prison. Over the course of a number of meetings, our office actively engaged the victim’s family throughout the prosecutorial process. The family was also present in court proceedings, including the sentencing hearing, where they delivered powerful victim impact statements. We are grateful for their participation. Our hearts and prayers are with the family and friends of the victim and we are grateful for the efforts to assist us in securing justice.”

Fox 8 followed up to ask whether Williams had ever contemplated trying Carter as an adult, but did not receive a response.

Anti-crime advocate Michael Willis, founder of Helping Other People Endure (HOPE), has been helping McGlothen through the process.

“When these kinds of things happen, everybody’s got to be held accountable. But also the district attorney has to do a better job at doing their job,” Willis said. “Yeah, we want to find programs for them. We do. But we don’t want them to just think that it’s open season and just do whatever you want.”

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