Crime victim furious after juvenile who robbed him walks free, says he had no idea about the trial
NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A crime victim says he is furious after finding out the juvenile who held him at gunpoint walked free.
He says the DA’s office never notified him about the trial and that he never got a chance to testify.
“Absolutely, I wanted to testify. This can’t continue to happen in this city,” said crime victim Patrick Dennis.
Patrick Dennis was looking forward to testifying against a 16-year-old who he says held him up at gunpoint last December, but that never happened.
He says the Orleans DA’s office dropped the ball.
“They went to trial without ever telling me,” Dennis said.
Police say the juvenile gunman who held Dennis up was part of a group of teens who went on a violent crime spree over a three-day period. Dennis says he eventually received a call from the DA’s office that the teens were going to trial.
“I said don’t worry, I’ll make arrangements. I took off of work and I headed over there. I went to the juvenile justice center,” Dennis said.
But once there, Dennis says he was informed that the 16-year-old’s trial wouldn’t happen that day.
“The only individual that was going to trial that day was a 13-year-old male. The individual that put the gun in my face was apparently locked up in another parish or in another facility and wasn’t available for trial.”
Dennis left and says he got another call from the DA’s office several weeks later about a hearing but he says the Assistant District Attorney told him it was nothing more than a formality. So he didn’t go.
“About a week ago, I got a call and said we are going to trial on Thursday at 10:30 in the morning. ‘Could I come to the justice center?’ I said, absolutely. I made arrangements to be there, waited around for about 45 minutes and one of the ADA’s came in and said we are going to trial on this 15-year-old female. I said, ‘Well I’m not here on a 15-year-old female. I’m here for a 16-year-old male.’ And they said that person was adjudicated several weeks ago, and nobody showed up...there was no evidence. They found him not guilty.”
Dennis was stunned.
He says he quickly realized he’ll never get justice for what happened to him. He says he still hasn’t been able to recover the thousands of dollars of stuff the teen stole from him that day.
“I was angry. I’m still angry. I’m angry at the entire situation. I’m angry that it happened. I’m angry that it’s being allowed to happen. About what’s transpired...not just for me, for this entire community, this entire city. Our elected officials are not doing what they are supposed to be doing.”
He worries the teen who held him up will offend again.
The Orleans District Attorney’s office left a statement:
“Service of subpoena was attempted several times on both Mr. Fitzmorris and Mr. Dennis ahead of the July 14 trial date. Service was attempted on Mr. Fitzmorris on June 29, June 30 and July 1. For Mr. Dennis, service was attempted on June 22, June 23 and July 8; and per the notes on the July 8 subpoena, the process server spoke to Mr. Dennis through an intercom. Victim engagement is a pillar of our office and we certainly apologize for any miscommunication that occurred in this case. However, we were able to secure the conviction of one of the juvenile co-defendants who has been sentenced to 5 years. The other defendants’ cases are open and our office will work to see justice through in those matters.”
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