New Orleans area police briefs for May 24, 2013

Man fatally shoots friend, police say

A Harvey man has been booked with negligent homicide after, investigators with the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, say he killed a friend during a late-night drinking session.

Phillip McClendon, 28, also was booked with being a felon in possession of gun in connection with the fatal shooting of Robert Casbon, 32, on Monday. Deputies found Casbon dead in front of a home in the 3800 block of Cimwood Drive, said Glen Boyd, a sheriff’s spokesman.

Boyd reported that a witness told detectives that McClendon and another man were drinking with Casbon in Casbon’s garage around midnight. McClendon told investigators that he accidentally shot Casbon while moving the gun from a shelf and putting it into his pants pocket. The men had been engaged in horseplay while drinking and McClendon claimed he was moving the gun for safety, Boyd said.

However, when initially questioned by detectives, McClendon denied being involved in the shooting, and detectives still have not recovered the weapon used.

McClendon has prior convictions for narcotics possession and aggravated battery, Boyd said.

Casbon’s body was discovered after his family heard gunshots, and then found him lying on the ground. The other man inside the garage has not been identified by police.

Ex-Coca-Cola worker accused of theft

A 43-year-old former Coca-Cola supervisor is accused of stealing keys when he left his job and then using those keys to break into vending machines in Jefferson Parish nearly 100 times.

Rory Luke was arrested by the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office after investigating numerous thefts from vending machines throughout the parish. Investigators were able to identify Luke as a suspect through assistance from Coca-Cola, which fired Luke after he was caught stealing from a machine in 2011, said Col. John Fortunato, a sheriff’s spokesman.

Investigators arrested Luke on Tuesday at his home near Gretna, and found nearly two dozen keys that Luke later admitted to stealing when he left the soft-drink company.

Under questioning, Luke admitted to stealing nearly $9,000, and was booked with theft, criminal damage to property and possession of stolen property, Fortunato said.

Officials investigate
3 separate stabbings

New Orleans police investigated three separate stabbings Wednesday.

The incidents began around 2 p.m. and were reported in the 1500 block of North Claiborne Avenue, the intersection of North Broad Street and Esplanade Avenue and the 2300 block of South Claiborne Avenue.

In the first incident, a 30-year-old man was trying to break up a fight on North Claiborne when he was cut on the leg.

In the second incident, an argument between a woman and an unidentified suspect ended with the woman being cut on the neck.

In the third incident, a woman was cut on both shoulders after an argument.

Suspect, 22, sought
in Algiers shooting

A 22-year-old man is wanted for a shooting in Algiers earlier this month that left a 25-year-old man in critical condition.

New Orleans police are searching for Kemond Pierre. Authorities say he shot a man after an argument in the 2100 block of Springbrook Lane.

Pierre is accused of shooting the man with a pistol, and is wanted for aggravated battery and possession of a firearm.

The victim survived the shooting despite his wounds.

Slidell man indicted
in January slaying

Michael G. Smith Jr. was indicted for second-degree murder by a St. Tammany Parish grand jury last week in the shooting death of Warren Pryor on Jan. 7.

The slaying was the first homicide of the year in St. Tammany Parish.

Slidell police said Smith, who was initially named a “person of interest” in the case, shot Pryor, then drove Pryor’s car to New Orleans, where it was found burned.

Smith, 20, surrendered himself to the New Orleans Police Department a day later for a separate homicide case in which he was booked with second-degree murder in the death of Joshua Walker.

Walker, 25, was found shot to death about 1 a.m. Jan. 6 in the 3400 block of Audubon Court in Gert Town in New Orleans.

Compiled by
the New Orleans bureau