N.O. prosecutor: Planning of grisly triple murder caught on tape

Shawn Peterson plotted the September murders of his ex-girlfriend and her two children, including his own son, in the garage of their Gentilly home, an Orleans Parish prosecutor said Thursday.

“He planned it. He’s on tape planning it,” Assistant District Attorney Craig Famularo told Criminal District Court Judge Camille Buras.

Famularo also said Peterson killed Christine George, 39; Leonard George, 18; and Trisa George, 20, while they were “trapped inside a vehicle.”

Those new details on a crime that shocked the city came as a state grand jury indicted Peterson, 42, on three counts of first-degree murder in the Sept. 11 killings — one of three indictments handed up by an Orleans Parish grand jury Thursday.

The judge ordered Peterson, who was arrested a week after the slayings, to be held without bail.

Christopher Bowman, a spokesman for District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office, declined to elaborate on the purported tape, citing an ongoing investigation.

When Peterson was arrested, police said only that he gave them a phony alibi that was proven false by phone records and by a woman Peterson claimed was with him at a hotel when the three victims were shot dead.

The killings took place in the garage of the family’s home in the 4400 block of Jeanne Marie Place. The home had a lengthy history of domestic violence, court records show, and Peterson, the father of victim Leonard George, had recently been kicked out of the house.

Phone records show he called Christine George’s cell phone three times just minutes before the murders, contradicting his own story, police said.

Trisa George, a graduate of O. Perry Walker High School who was taking pre-pharmacy courses at Delgado Community College, had picked up her mother from her job as a New Orleans Police Department dispatcher and driven her back to the home, said Christine George’s sister-in-law, Deidre Preston, shortly after the killings.

Somehow, Leonard George also wound up inside the SUV.

The three victims were shot dead just after 11 p.m. Sept. 11.

Detectives also found a surveillance camera near the scene with footage showing a man matching Peterson’s description running away “immediately” after the killings, court documents say.

One witness said Peterson was overheard threatening to kill Christine George four days before the triple-killing.

Out on parole over a previous attempted murder charge when he was arrested for the slayings, Peterson has a long history of violence dating to his 18th birthday, with sporadic stints in prison.

Carter indicted

In another case, the grand jury indicted Briceson Carter, 29, of Chalmette on a second-degree murder count and eight other counts related to separate incidents that authorities say all took place within 24 hours, including the Oct. 12 killing of Brandy Keenan, 38, of Bogalusa.

The body of Keenan, a mother of five, was discovered Oct. 17 in an overgrown lot near Choctaw Street and Florida Avenue. She had been shot multiple times and bound at the hands and feet.

The day after police say Keenan was killed, Carter walked up to another woman on the Mississippi River levee in the Lower 9th Ward and asked for her number. She declined to give it. “Well, why don’t you just give me your cell phone and money?” police said he then told her. “If you don’t, I will kill you.”

He then forced the woman, who is identified in court papers only as “J.D.,” to walk with him to her home, where he began to rob her, then stopped to unload his gun, handed the weapon to the woman and told her to shoot, according to a police account.

The woman said she didn’t pull the trigger, and Carter took back his gun, reloaded it and pistol-whipped her, police said. The woman escaped out the back door when he went to grab her belongings in another room, according to police.

Using GPS from the victim’s phone, police tracked Carter to an apartment in the 1900 block of Elysian Fields Avenue, where he was arrested about 8 a.m. Oct. 13.

He was pegged for Keenan’s murder while in jail.

Along with the murder count in Keenan’s killing, the grand jury indicted Carter on counts of attempted murder, armed robbery, aggravated kidnapping, aggravated burglary, battery, attempted simple escape and a pair of gun counts. Buras set his bond at $3.5 million.

Carter had been out on bond for a crack-cocaine charge when he allegedly committed the crimes.

He had been free on $25,000 bond when he was busted for allegedly growing marijuana in Mississippi, spent time in jail there and missed a court date in New Orleans, violating his bond agreement by leaving the state and allegedly committing another crime.

Criminal District Court Judge Benedict Willard revoked Carter’s bond and issued an arrest warrant, but he canceled it and allowed Carter to remain free, over the objections of prosecutors, after Carter showed up in court and apologized. In July, Cannizzaro’s office asked for a higher bond, or to have Carter’s bond revoked, but Willard refused.

Dooley, Lee indicted

The grand jury Thursday also indicted two men, Tyrone Dooley, 20, and Dentri Lee, 24, on one count of second-degree murder and two counts of attempted second-degree murder each. According to authorities, the two men killed Billy McCormick, 22, in a drive-by shooting in the St. Thomas neighborhood Aug. 27 while attempting to kill two other, unnamed victims.

McCormick and two other men were riding in a Nissan when another car pulled up alongside them and someone opened fire, police have said. The Nissan stopped at Felicity and Tchoupitoulas streets, and McCormick’s body was found on the sidewalk a few paces from the car.

Lee was arrested for McCormick’s murder a day later. Dooley was booked on Sept. 4.

Buras set bond at $2 million for each.