Man who attacked French Quarter musician receives reduced sentence

Man who attacked musician gets reduced sentence

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - It was a case that upset the community back in 2014, when musician Doug Potter became the victim of a brutal beating as he walked back to his car after playing a gig in the French Quarter.

"Something like this to happen to him is absolutely pathetic," says David Potter.

"The victim of this offense has permanent brain damage as a result of the injuries he received that evening. He's had to undergo six brain surgeries," says DA Leon Cannizzaro.

Now, one of the men convicted of beating Potter, Terrell Belvin, got his sentence drastically reduced from a life sentence to 20 years in prison.

"A very, very sad case, and I think the least the judge could have done was give Mrs. Potter an opportunity to be heard on behalf of her husband," says Cannizzaro.

Before making his decision, Judge Darryl Derbigny denied the state's motion to continue the case. District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro says Potter and his family should have been given a chance to give victim impact statements before Judge Derbigny made a decision.

"We thought it was fair that the victim and the Potters had the right to be in court and explain to the judge how their lives have been impacted and affected by this brutal vicious attack," says Cannizzaro.

Belvin was originally sentenced to life in prison in 2015 after a hearing that proved Belvin had prior convictions for cocaine distribution.

Earlier this year, though, the Supreme Court allowed for the reconsideration of sentences for some multiple felony offenders, like Belvin.

"In this particular case, if the judge felt the 20-year sentence was appropriate, that's his call. All we're requesting is that the victim be given an opportunity to be heard because maybe it just might have influenced the judge's decision to impose a sentence more severe than the 20 years in light of how they have to suffer on a daily basis," says Cannizzaro.

We reached out to Judge Derbigny for comment but have not heard back.

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