A grand jury in Orleans Parish has returned multiple indictments against a group of teenagers believed to be responsible for a number of robberies in New Orleans over the course of a week, according to local sources. Louisiana authorities apprehended the youths, who faced a grand jury on July 21 for their alleged role in a variety of armed robberies. Understandably, their focus now is on preparing and presenting a meaningful criminal defense.
Three 15-year-old boys and a 17-year-old boy face combined charges of almost 40 counts of armed robbery. A judge has placed a $250,000 bond on each count for each defendant at this time. These charges come on the heels of a spree of armed robberies that have taken place across the New Orleans area over the course of six days.
The prosecution intends to charge the youths as adults in this case, which covers a stretch of time between May 28 and June 2. The youths are suspected of armed robberies, including a carjacking on May 31. At least one of the youths was already on probation and wearing an ankle monitor at the time of the alleged robberies. The four youths have a history with the justice system, having pleaded guilty to other charges in the past.
However, past guilt on unrelated charges cannot be taken as part of a decision in a current case. Criminal defense procedure requires that all accused individuals are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. Particularly in a case where a Louisiana court wishes to charge young people as adults, this will be of the utmost importance to their defense in the upcoming court proceedings.
Source: nola.com, "Teens indicted in New Orleans armed robberies", Jonathan Bullington, July 21, 2016