Serial rapist gets 35 years; women testify: ‘You probably don’t remember me, but I remember you’

The assaults haunted them for years. One victim ended her life after jurors deadlocked on one of Alfred Berry’s rape charges.

But inside a courtroom on Friday, survivors stood together and hugged after a judge sentenced Berry to 35 years in prison. DNA evidence this month produced rape convictions that prosecutors failed to secure in the 1980s.

“You can’t fool science, thank God,” one of the women said.

(The Times Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate, Sept. 24, 2019)

50 years ago, Union Faith freighter crash, explosion shocked New Orleans, but heroes saved dozens

The two river pilots, now in their 70s, still remember the moment half a century ago when a danger signal sounded across the Mississippi River on a clear but dark Easter night.

The SS Union Faith, a 503-foot Taiwanese freighter heading upriver past New Orleans, was headed straight for three barges moving downriver. The barges were loaded with 27,000 barrels of crude oil.

(The New Orleans Advocate, April 20, 2019)

New Orleans cops try help instead of handcuffs for downtown’s ‘frequent flyers’

New Orleans police Officer Shontrell Johnson surveyed the boisterous party along Bourbon Street shortly before midnight on a crisp fall night. Short but authoritative, she weaved through the crowds until she spotted her target: Patrick Kennedy, 49, a man with a rap sheet longer than the lime-green hand grenade drink container in his hand.

As she approached a bearded and tipsy Kennedy, he bobbed along to the music coming from the Krazy Korner bar. He turned to face an officer from a force that he estimates has arrested him 1,000 times.

But Johnson wasn’t there to pull out her handcuffs.

(The New Orleans Advocate, Dec. 16, 2018)

‘It’s disgusting’: Female deputies allege sexual harassment culture at New Orleans jail

The dangers of the New Orleans jail are many and well-documented: riots, suicides, airborne human waste and frequent attacks by inmates on guards.

But the inmates aren’t responsible for all of the hazards. Six current and former employees of the Orleans Parish Sheriff’s Office say the jail’s many female deputies have to deal with a pervasive culture of sexual harassment from their male colleagues.

(The New Orleans Advocate, May 15, 2018)

Many juvenile lifers from New Orleans area get shot at parole — but not without a fight

Kevin Jordan was just a few months over 17 when he leaned out a car window with a revolver and killed a 12-year-old boy who was tinkering with a bike on a street in Mid-City.

Although the death of Wendell McGuffey was front-page news when it happened in 1996, little has been heard of the case since Jordan was sentenced to life in prison. He was supposed to spend the rest of his life there and die without a chance at parole.

(The New Orleans Advocate, Nov. 8, 2017)

New Orleans-area inmates freed weeks or months early begin their new lives

Brian Fallen walked out of a parole office in New Orleans on Wednesday with a mesh bag full of paperwork, a pack of Kool cigarettes and a plan.

“I hope this works this time. I want to make it work,” he said. “I got too old to be fooling around with the crap.”

(The New Orleans Advocate, Nov. 1, 2017)

St. Bernard Parish sheriff, who lost son to overdose, tackles addiction with a helping hand

Pohlmann said the program is not a reaction to his son’s death but a continuation of his longstanding commitment to offering more addiction resources. Still, he said, his son’s struggles gave him a new appreciation for the country’s opioid crisis.

“I’ve seen both sides of it,” Pohlmann said. 

(The New Orleans Advocate, Oct. 22, 2017)

In Gretna, audio allegedly uncovers illegal arrest quota for police

In January 2014, a Gretna police lieutenant pulled one of his subordinates in for a performance review. The lieutenant’s voice was calm but contemptuous.

In an exchange captured on an audio recording, Lt. J.R. Rogers made it clear that the officer needed to make more arrests to keep his job.

“You are held to one arrest — at least one arrest per day.”

(The New Orleans Advocate, Oct. 7, 2017)

Key police report frees inmate serving life in Angola for decades-old killing in deal with Orleans DA

A man serving a life sentence for a decades-old killing in New Orleans was freed from the Louisiana State Penitentiary at Angola on Friday after his lawyers unearthed a police report that cast doubt on the prosecution’s star witness.

(The New Orleans Advocate, June 16, 2017)

Corey Ladd, man sentenced to 17 years for marijuana possession, to be freed

Corey Ladd’s 5-year-old daughter held her composure through hours of his hearing in state court on Friday. But the moment a judge said he would no longer serve a 17-year sentence for marijuana possession, she broke into tears of joy.

(The New Orleans Advocate, June 9, 2017)

Ex-NOPD officer, with pill addiction kicked, touts marijuana for pain treatment

Jerry Kaczmarek still remembers the moment when his life began hurtling toward addiction. He was sitting in his police cruiser on Race Street writing out a report when the radio crackled with the signal for an armed robbery in progress.

He zipped around the corner onto Magazine Street, only to come car-to-car with the 16-year-old stick-up artist. 

(The New Orleans Advocate, April 22, 2017)