Convictions upheld in restaurant owner’s death

A state appeals court has upheld a man’s convictions for his role in a burglary that led to the beating death of the owner of a popular New Orleans restaurant.

Thursday’s ruling by a panel from the 5th Circuit Court of Appeal affirms Bryant Boudoin’s convictions on charges of second-degree murder and conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary.

Boudoin’s convictions stem from a May 2008 break-in at Elizabeth “Betsy” McDaniel’s Marrero home. McDaniel, 72, owned Betsy’s Pancake House in New Orleans. Boudoin was convicted in 2011 of being a principal to the murder. A second intruder who allegedly beat McDaniel while Boudoin ransacked the home was never identified.

Boudoin is serving a mandatory sentence of life in prison. He has insisted he is innocent.

Jurors heard testimony by two scientists who linked Boudoin to a pry bar used to break into McDaniel’s home.

The 5th Circuit judges concluded there was ample evidence to support the jury’s verdict. McDaniel opened the pancake restaurant in 1996 and worked as a waitress.