A unanimous Orleans Parish jury convicted a 31-year-old man Thursday of murder in the stabbing death of a young man during a scrap inside a popular Warehouse District bar in 2010.
The jury took about three hours to convict Michael Cameron in the killing, after three days of testimony in which witnesses painted a picture of Cameron as an assailant who was angry over an earlier run-in with a male friend of his child’s mother.
Prosecutors also said Cameron was set off by a fracas in which his brother bit off the ear of a bouncer at the club Republic New Orleans.
There was no evidence the stabbing victim, Eric Roy Jr., 26, knew Cameron before the fatal altercation.
Roy held down jobs at Home Depot and as a graphic artist while going to school, his father said.
Cameron testified in his own defense Thursday, saying video footage of him fleeing the bar indicated only that he wanted to leave, and he wasn’t the man whom several witnesses pegged as the stabber largely on the basis of his clothes and hairstyle.
Police said the brawl started after 3 a.m., and Cameron stabbed Roy in the head. Cameron’s brother was not tried in the case but remains accused of second-degree battery in the ear-biting.
Cameron and his brother were arrested outside the club on the night of the stabbing, Nov. 29, 2010.
Orleans Parish prosecutors Brittany Reed and Rhonda Goode-Douglas scoffed at the defense theory that witnesses simply misidentified Cameron.
“Mr. Roy decided he wanted to go to the Republic. What he could not have anticipated is he would have been violently ambushed,” Reed told the jury, describing a “savage attack” in which she said Cameron had a “specific intent to kill.”
Roy remained alive for more than three weeks before succumbing to the injury. His father, Eric Roy, attended the trial from start to finish and testified early in the week. After the verdict, he said his son went to the upscale club for an atmosphere where violence was not the norm.
“I am so overjoyed by the verdict, for my innocent son, a bystander just trying to have a good time with friends,” said Roy, who described the stabbing as a “malicious attack on him by such a monster.”
Roy said he was glad Cameron testified because he contradicted the testimony of other witnesses.
“He sunk his own ship,” the father said.
Cameron’s attorney, Martin Regan, pledged to appeal the case, describing “multiple rulings we think will give our client a good chance at getting a new trial.” Regan declined to specify the grounds for appeal.
Criminal District Court Judge Robin Pittman set an Oct. 18 sentencing date. Cameron, whose prior criminal history consists largely of small-time drug offenses, faces life in prison.