Bourbon Street suspect resisting extradition

Trung T. Le was taken to jail here without incident, but he won’t leave without a fight.

The lone known suspect in last week’s Bourbon Street shooting was unwilling Monday to sign a waiver of extradition, refusing to be taken back to New Orleans by local law enforcement.

That means Gov. Bobby Jindal will have to issue a so-called governor’s warrant to his Mississippi counterpart, Gov. Phil Bryant, to get Le back to Louisiana. The process could delay proceedings in the case by a few months.

“It could take a while,” said Harrison County Justice Court Judge Bruce Strong, who oversaw a closed hearing for Le at the Harrison County jail on Monday morning.

First, the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office will have to write up the warrant. Then, the state attorney general must review it before it heads to Jindal’s desk for the governor’s signature.

Assistant District Attorney Christopher Bowman, a spokesman for the DA’s Office, said the process of drawing up the document had already begun Monday.

“Once the District Attorney’s Office presents our office with an application for requisition, we will issue the extradition order,” said Mike Reed, a Jindal spokesman. “We are committed to working with law enforcement to ensure the individuals responsible for these crimes are brought to justice.”

Le, represented in court by Orleans Parish Public Defenders Christopher Murell and Anna VanCleave, made no statements during Monday’s hearing, according to Strong.

Le’s attorneys declined comment outside the jail. Chief Public Defender Derwyn Bunton also declined to comment.

Le, who also goes by the name “Joe,” was arrested Friday afternoon at a home in unincorporated Gulfport, the U.S. Marshals Service said.

The man living at the address where Le was found told investigators he was unaware Le was wanted. He was not detained.

New Orleans officials did not respond Monday to a question about whether Le was questioned after he was picked up.

A warrant New Orleans police issued for him has Le locked up on a count of first-degree murder and nine counts of attempted first-degree murder in the early morning June 29 shooting spree in the 700 block of Bourbon Street.

Among the 10 victims were Amy Matthews, a visitor from Australia who was shot in the mouth and has since been released from the hospital, and 21-year-old Brittany Thomas, a Hammond woman who died three days after the shooting.

The warrant does not spell out in detail what evidence police have against Le, saying only that a “known witness” to the shooting apparently provided the crucial interview with police that led to the arrest.

Police continue their search for a second gunman whose identity remains unknown.

Staff writer Jim Mustian contributed to this report. Follow Danny Monteverde on Twitter, @DCMonteverde.