It didn’t come close to making the nation news that the George Zimmerman shooting of Trayvon Martin did, but in Orleans Parish, Merritt Landry’s shooting of Marshall Coulter inside a gated area beside Landry’s home was a big deal. Landry shot Coulter in the head—which Coulter survived—and was charged with the attempted second-degree murder of the then 14-year old.
The shooting was used by anti-gun Democrats in an attempt to overturn Louisiana’s version of the state’s “stand your ground” law, even though this was wasn’t a “stand your ground” case (of course, neither was Zimmerman’s).
All charges have now been dropped against Landry, because revelations of Coulter’s criminal behavior have made securing a conviction virtually impossible:
Merritt Landry, the homeowner who shot an unarmed teenager in the head after finding the intruder on his Marigny property, no longer faces criminal prosecution.
Orleans Parish prosecutors on Thursday announced the decision to decline charges following news that Marshall Coulter, 15, who survived the shooting, had been arrested in connection with burglaries in the same neighborhood. The decision also comes after a grand jury failed to take action earlier this year, leaving the viability of the case in doubt.
Coulter was arrested earlier this month after a resident told police he found the teenager in his Marigny home. After that, another nearby resident said his video surveillance system captured Coulter attempting to enter his home about 20 minutes earlier than the burglary for which Coulter was arrested.
After news of that arrest surfaced, police linked Coulter to a third crime, this one in 2012 in which he is accused of entering a home on Frenchmen Street, taking a gun, threatening a resident who confronted him and then fleeing with the weapon. Coulter faces the most serious charge — aggravated burglary — in that case, which is before a juvenile court judge.
Like the case against Landry, the attempt to repeal Louisiana’s “stand your ground” law has recently gone away.
Merritt Landry should play the lottery. If Marshall Coulter wasn’t such an incompetent criminal, odds at that he would have stood a very good chance of being convicted for shooting Coulter. Shooting someone outside your home who doesn’t have a weapon rarely turns out well for the homeowner.