Man was out on bond when he allegedly terrorized woman in Lower 9th Ward


A Chalmette man was out on bond, twice over, when he allegedly terrorized a woman at gunpoint early Sunday in New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward, then tried to set a police cruiser on fire.

Briceson Carter, back in Orleans Parish Prison on nearly a dozen charges, left the same jail in January on a $25,000 bond and fled to Mississippi, despite having signed a bond contract that forbade him to commit new crimes or to leave the state.

He was caught in Lawrence County, Miss., apparently growing marijuana, according to the county Sheriff’s Office.

He spent a month in the Mississippi jail and missed a court date in New Orleans.

When he returned, an Orleans Parish Criminal District Court judge declined to revoke his bond and allowed him to remain free on his $25,000 obligation.

Early Sunday, police said, Carter approached a woman sitting on a bench on the Mississippi River levee.

He asked for her phone number, then allegedly pulled out a gun, demanded both her money and her phone number, and threatened to kill her if she didn’t hand them over.

She gave him her phone.

Then he forced her at gunpoint to walk to her nearby Burgundy Street home, where he demanded she lie face-down on her bed, according to police.

She told police she heard him gathering items from around her house and piling them up on the bed.

After ordering her to sit up, he allegedly removed the magazine from his gun, handed it to her and told her to shoot him.

She pulled the trigger, but no bullets fired.

He took back the gun, reloaded it, forced her once again to lie down on the bed and hit her in the leg with the gun, according to court records.

As the woman heard him rooting around her house again, she tried to flee out her back door.

She heard a shot as the ran but kept going and called 911 from a neighbor’s house.

Carter, too, apparently fled, leaving behind the items piled up on the bed. Police tracked him using the GPS on the woman’s phone.

Officers found him in an apartment on Elysian Fields, put him in an police car, and reportedly headed back to the woman’s house so she could identify him as her captor.

He somehow slipped his cuffed hands from behind his back and attempted twice to open the door of the police car.

Officers, concerned by his escape attempts, apparently turned around and told the victim to meet them at the Elysian Fields address.

She identified him there, and officers headed to Orleans Parish Prison. Carter, who’d apparently managed to procure or retain a lighter, allegedly burned a hole in the back seat of the cruiser while trying to set the car on fire.

He was booked on at least nine charges: armed robbery, armed robbery with a firearm, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated burglary, aggravated assault with a firearm, attempted simple escape, simple criminal damage to property, simple arson and resisting an officer, according to sheriff’s records.

His bail, this time, was set at $750,000, and he remained locked up late Thursday.

Carter had been pulled over in the St. Roch neighborhood Jan. 14 for failing to yield.

The officer who stopped him “could immediately smell a strong aroma of burning marijuana coming from within the vehicle,” according to court records.

“What’s the problem?” Carter reportedly asked, with a hand-rolled cigar allegedly still burning on the console next to him.

Then a drug dog sniffed a clear plastic bag, stuffed beside the seat, that allegedly contained 129 individually wrapped crack rocks.

Carter was charged with possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, typically punishable by two to 30 years in prison.

Carter would have been considered by the courts as a habitual offender, which would dramatically increase his potential prison sentence.

He had pleaded guilty in federal court in 2007 to being a felon in possession of a firearm.

He was convicted of burglary in Alabama the following year.

Then in 2010 he pleaded guilty to possession of cocaine and was sentenced to five years, all of which was suspended in favor of probation.

After his arrest for the crack during the traffic stop in January, a magistrate commissioner set his bail at $25,000, which he posted two days later.

In doing so, he signed a contract with the court, pledging that he “shall keep the peace and commit no crime.”

He also agreed that he “shall not leave the state of Louisiana without written permission from the court.”

When Carter missed a scheduled hearing in April, Criminal District Court Judge Ben Willard revoked his bond and issued a warrant for his arrest.

But he showed up in court a month later, apologized and confessed he’d been in jail in Lawrence County, Miss., though he was not supposed to have left the state.

Willard canceled the warrant for his arrest and allowed him out again on $25,000.

Prosecutors objected, citing his violation of three conditions of his bond: the missed court appearance, his forbidden jaunt over the state line and his arrest on a new drug charge.

He had been charged in Lawrence County with manufacturing marijuana, according to the Sheriff’s Office there. He was held from April 18 to May 23.

In July, the Orleans District Attorney’s Office filed a written request for his bond to be increased or revoked. Willard once again denied the request, and Carter remained free until his arrest on Sunday.