crime

New Orleans police have arrested six people in connection with a shooting that killed an 11-year-old girl last year.

Police say all six suspects have been linked to gangs.

Arabian Gayles was shot to death when someone opened fire on her New Orleans home early on the morning of September 2 last year. Another 11-year-old girl and a 38-year-old man were wounded.

New Orleans police chief Michael Harrison and District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro announced the six indictments yesterday.

A businessman who provided key testimony against former Mayor Ray Nagin has been sentenced to a year and a day in federal prison.

Rodney Williams had admitted his role in a conspiracy to bribe Nagin.

U.S. District Judge Susie Morgan imposed the sentence yesterday.

Williams pleaded guilty in 2012. In February, he was among several witnesses who testified against Nagin.

Williams said he handed over $60,000 in payoffs to secure city contracts.

Before he was sentenced, Williams tearfully apologized to his family.

A Gretna police officer is recovering from injuries sustained in a shooting during an apparent drug deal that a task force was trying to thwart.

Two suspects were also shot.

Gretna Deputy Police Chief Anthony Christiana tells WWL-TV that members of a West Bank task force were trying to intercept an alleged heroin deal at a strip mall around 3 p.m. Tuesday.

Christiana says an officer was shot in the arm and abdomen. Christiana credits a military-style armored vest with aiding the officer from more serious injury.

Franklin Reyes / AP

Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin is starting to serve his 10-year sentence for corruption. Two major players in the scheme that landed him behind bars are now through the court process.

A public defender has been appointed for former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, who is appealing his February conviction on corruption charges.

Federal court papers filed Friday say Assistant Federal Public Defender Jordan Mark Siverd will handle the appeal. Last week, U.S. District Judge Helen Ginger Berrigan approved the appointment of a public defender. According to a questionnaire filed with the court, Nagin had just $23.65 in the bank and numerous debts.

A federal judge has given a 2½-year prison sentence to a former deputy mayor whose testimony helped convict former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin of corruption.

U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon sentenced Greg Meffert yesterday.

Meffert apologized for the bribery scheme. His testimony helped convict Nagin and city contractor Mark St. Pierre.

Meffert was indicted in 2009 on charges of conspiracy, bribery and public corruption.

He pleaded guilty in November 2010 to accepting about $860,000 in bribes from St. Pierre, whose firms collected millions from the city.

The New Orleans Inspector General says police are underreporting robberies. The numbers are given to the FBI for its national Uniform Crime Report.

New Orleans is planning to use civilian officers to patrol the French Quarter.

It’s part of a security plan called NOLA PATROL.

The unarmed civilians would handle non-emergency matters. The plan aims to give regular officers the time and ability to better handle serious crimes.

Funding comes from a hotel tax. The plan needs City Council approval.

State police have temporarily assigned 50 officers to the French Quarter, Faubourg Marigny and Bywater in response to the Bourbon Street shooting.

The agency is planning to withdraw them after Labor Day.

A suspect in a deadly drive-by shooting in New Orleans' Lower 9th Ward got into a fight with another inmate on his first day inside Orleans Parish Prison.

Court records show Blair Taylor, one of two men police say opened fire Aug. 10 on a crowd of mostly women and children, was attacked by another inmate last Thursday — hours after being booked on murder charges.

A third man and a woman have been arrested in connection with a drive-by shooting in the Lower 9th Ward that killed two people and injured five.

Two boys and their mother were among the wounded.

New Orleans police say 23-year-old Joseph Nelson III is accused of being one of two gunmen who fired into a group on Aug. 10. Police say 25-year-old Ashley Shorts allegedly helped one of those two avoid detection.

Nelson was booked yesterday with two counts of first-degree murder and five of attempted first-degree murder.

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