WWNO News Reports
10:45 pm
Wed October 19, 2011

New Orleans Leaders Call For Stronger Witness Cooperation

New Orleans, LA – John Matthews was shot 17 times, but survived to testify against Telly Hankton. The victim in that case was someone Hankton believed killed his cousin. Hankton is now serving a life sentence, while Matthews left the area. His brother, Curtis, was killed over the weekend outside the daiquiri shop where Hankton had opened fire.
New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu says retaliations must end, and witnesses must cooperate.
"I have no doubt at the end of the day we're going to win this battle. And I'm sending a message loud and clear to Telly Hankton and his family, and anybody else who's associated with this: We're coming to get you."
Landrieu is contributing $10,000 from his campaign fund to a reward now at $15,000 by Crimestoppers for information on Curtis Matthews' killer.
District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro has long complained that people don't cooperate as they should on criminal investigations and prosecutions. He says there is help available for witnesses and their families.
"We don't have the resources to do a witness protection program as is done in the federal system but we do the best with what we have. We have not lost any witnesses or victims who have come forward and taken the assistance and advice that we have offered them in order to ensure their safety for purposed of the trial."
Police Superintendent Ronal Serpas says people can call in tips to detectives and Crimestoppers while remaining anonymous.
For WWNO, I'm Eileen Fleming.