A New Orleans man is convicted in connection with the death of a Marine in 2010.
District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro said Melvin Clay, 39, was found guilty of second-degree murder and obstruction of justice charges in connection with the fatal stabbing of Sgt. Ryan Lekosky.
Authorities said Clay had an argument with Lekosky's wife at the intersection of Dauphine and Iberville streets in the French Quarter in the early morning hours of Oct. 31, 2010. Investigators said Clay got out of his car and pushed Lekosky's wife to the ground. Lekosky, who was attired in his dress blues, came to aid of his wife, and that’s when authorities said Clay stabbed him before fleeing the scene.
Detectives said Clay, who was working as a pimp in New Orleans, fled to Houston with Helaina Amrine, a prostitute in his employ. In Houston, police said Clay burned the clothing that he was wearing the night of the crime and also disposed of the weapon.
Clay was arrested six weeks later after police identified his car from a side view mirror that was knocked off the SUV when he escaped.
Prosecutors said Clay claimed he was acting in self-defense during trial, but they presented evidence to show that he intended to present a mistaken identity defense, only to abandon the effort when he discovered the volume of evidence in the possession of the district attorney’s office.
Prosecutors also presented evidence to show that the defendant attempted to keep Amrine from cooperating with law enforcement authorities.
Amrine, who pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and accessory after the fact, will be sentenced in the near future, prosecutors said. Authorities said because of plea agreements, the judge will determine a sentence not to exceed five years.
“This case was investigated well. The family of the victim placed its trust in my office and cooperated in our efforts to bring this defendant to justice. My ADAs prepared a thorough case and thwarted this defendant’s efforts to corrupt the justice process. Justice was done today, and the community should be reassured that our criminal justice system can and does function as it is designed to function," Cannizzaro said.
Clay will be sentenced Jan. 25, and prosecutors said the state law mandates that he receives a sentence of life in prison without possibility of probation, parole or suspension of sentence.
The Lekoskys had attended a Marine Corps Ball earlier.
The murderer slowed to catcall Mrs. Lekosky. Words were passed and a racial slur was aimed at the Marine. The rest is reported above. It is a shame Clay can not be put to death.
Posted using Outdoor Hub Campfire