Attorney: Client killed on way to hearing on murder charges

·2 min read

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — A 21-year-old man accused of killing a high school student and the teen’s stepsister was gunned down on his way to a pretrial hearing, and his mother was critically wounded, the man's attorney said.

John Fuller said he believes Hollis Carter was shot in the head on Wednesday in connection with a killing that he says his late client had not committed, The Times-Picayune / The New Orleans Advocate reported.

“Street justice has resulted in an assurance that there would never be any closure in this case,” Fuller said.

New Orleans police have said Carter confessed to killing Caleb Johnson, 18, and Breyiana Brown, 25, and wounding a third person in a gun sale gone bad on the city's west bank last March. Fuller said he had planned to argue in court that Carter made that statement because he was afraid of the actual killer.

The district attorney’s office would not comment on that defense, saying the case is still open, the newspaper reported.

Police, who have not identified Carter as the victim, said the man was shot Wednesday morning while his car was waiting at a stop light, and his passenger fell into the street as the car rolled forward.

Mike Smith, an assistant pastor at Bethel Community Baptist Church, said employees at a church-operated car wash told him that someone “unloaded” a gun into the car, firing at least eight shots.

Carter, free on $375,000 bond, had been due in court for a status hearing on two counts of second-degree murder and one count of attempted second-degree murder.

Fuller said he is committed to prove that Carter was innocent.

"He doesn’t deserve to have his obituary tainted by what were basically false charges,” Fuller said.