Questions surround legal case of Marigny homeowner involved in shooting

Published: May. 4, 2014 at 3:51 AM CDT|Updated: Jun. 29, 2016 at 8:56 PM CDT
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Merritt Landry
Merritt Landry

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - There are new questions about the fate of the criminal case against a Marigny homeowner who says he shot a teen in self defense last summer. That teenager, Marshall Coulter, was, according to FOX 8 sources, arrested by New Orleans Police Friday, for burglary.

Marigny homeowner Merritt Landry is out on bond after being arrested for attempted second degree murder. He shot Marshall Coulter in the head last July after he says the 14-year-old hopped his fence one night and appeared to be reaching for something when Landry told him not to move.

FOX 8 legal analyst Joseph Raspanti says, "It's a very bad thing for everybody to have gone through. It's a very bad thing for Merritt Landry, I feel bad for this young man getting shot, but he sure was doing something that he shouldn't have been doing in a place that he shouldn't have been doing it."

Landry's case went before the Grand Jury in February, but jurors couldn't decide whether to indict him or clear him of the charge. The case took a twist Friday with Coulter's arrest for simple burglary on a different home.

Christopher Starnes, a local business owner who spoke to Coulter Friday before the burglary explains what he heard happened saying, "The door was open, the homeowner came home and found him inside and was like hey- you're in my house, and the kid was like I didn't break in I have a key. He's like yeah that's my key, you found it in my mailbox and he's like I'm going to call the police."

Starnes says after speaking to Coulter, his head injuries were obvious. But despite his condition, Raspanti says the charge against him is clear. "Even in his depleted condition, he still remembered how to go burglarize somebody's house, that should tell us something," Raspanti commented.

Raspanti says Coulter's latest arrest shows a pattern of behavior that could very likely influence Landry's case. "Merritt Landry may have been really thinking that he was at risk or his family was at risk and that is enough, under the statute to clear him of these types of charges," explained Raspanti.

It's now up to District Attorney Leon Cannizarro to decide how and if the case should proceed.

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