Real estate agent convicted of manslaughter in 2018 beating death of man on St. Charles Avenue
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) – A commercial real estate agent who drunkenly beat and kicked a 60-year-old man to a delayed death more than four years ago on St. Charles Avenue was convicted of manslaughter Tuesday night (May 10) at the end of a six-day trial.
Garrett Ward, 29, faces up to 40 years in state prison when sentenced June 22 by Criminal District Court Judge Robin Pittman.
Ward was found guilty of killing of Arnold Jackson, a Black man who was 35 years his senior when they encountered each other around 1:30 am outside a hotel bar in the 2000 block of St. Charles Avenue on Jan. 6, 2018.
Witnesses described Jackson as a pedestrian walking down the sidewalk when Ward, then 25 years old, suddenly lunged at him without provocation and began punching his head. Ward continued punching and kicking Jackson after he hit the concrete, and witnesses testified that Ward used racial slurs during the attack.
Jackson was hospitalized in critical condition and died in a hospital 12 days after the attack.
A grand jury indicted Ward on a charge of second-degree murder, which would have carried a mandatory life sentence. The Orleans Parish trial jury deliberated more than six hours before rejecting that charge and convicting the Baton Rouge man on the lesser count of manslaughter.
Ward’s defense team, led by attorneys John Fuller, Robert Gil and Andrew Bevinetto, tried persuading jurors that the attack was justified, claiming Ward drunkenly awoke to find Jackson going through his pockets.
Ward, who had been free since posting a $1 million bond after his June 2018 indictment, was remanded into custody by Pittman following the verdict. He was booked into the Orleans Justice Center jail Wednesday at 2:06 am
The case was prosecuted by District Attorney Jason Williams and Assistant District Attorneys Andre Gaudin and Christian Hebert-Pryor.
“The lack of humanity and respect shown by the defendant in this incident as he viciously attacked this 60-year-old Black man was reprehensible,” Williams said in a statement. “When I met with Mr. Jackson’s family last year, I promised his loved ones that I would see this case to the end with them. This conviction is proof that we did just that.”
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