An Orleans Parish Criminal District Court judge today granted a new trial for Michael Anderson in the 2006 Central City massacre that left five teenagers dead, agreeing with the defense team that prosecutors violated the rules at his August trial that ended with a jury condemning Anderson to death row.
“The ends of justice require that Michael Anderson receive a new trial,” Judge Lynda Van Davis wrote, in a seven-page ruling that found prosecutors’ withholding of a videotaped interview with the sole eyewitness, and a jailhouse informant’s plea deal, could have blindsided his defense attorneys.
Prosecutors said they will appeal. Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro will hold a news conference Monday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. outside his headquarters at 619 S. White St.
It’s the first time in recent state history that a trial judge has granted a new trial in a capital murder case, said defense attorney Richard Bourke, who represents Anderson post-conviction in the Central City massacre.
Davis heard two days of testimony last week as Anderson’s post-conviction defense team presented 18 grounds in an argument that included the bombshell that prosecutors had a two-hour videotaped interview with their sole eyewitness to the Central City massacre that they didn’t turn over to the defense until Jan. 5. Also at issue in Anderson’s demand for a new trial is the fact that a jailhouse informant, Ronnie Morgan, who testified that Anderson bragged to him about the shootings failed to tell the jury that he had a longstanding plea deal with prosecutors that required his cooperation in the case.
Anderson hasn’t yet been formally sentenced to Louisiana’s death row at the state prison in Angola, and remains at Orleans Parish Prison. Read the entire article here.