Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Charges Dismissed in Jailhouse Death

Posted By on Tue, Oct 9, 2007 at 10:07 PM

The Orleans District Attorney's office has dismissed charges against Richard Jackson in connection with the July 26 beating of Oscar Fuselier inside an Orleans Parish Prison (OPP) holding cell. Fuselier, as reported in the Gambit Weekly story "Traffic Fatality", never regained consciousness after the assault and later died in the hospital after he was taken off of life support.

At the time of the attack, Fuselier had already spent more than 28 hours in a holding cell on a minor traffic attachment warrant for

missing a court date for a traffic violation in Jefferson Parish. More than 10 hours earlier, Jefferson Parish had instructed OPP to release Fuselier with a new court date and this was about the same time that Richard Jackson, an 18-year-old armed robbery suspect and a violent offender began sharing a holding cell with the 58-year-old Fuselier, a non-violent offender.

When Criminal Sheriff Marlin Gusman was interviewed for the GW article, he said the investigation into the holding cell assault was "pretty straightforward" and that four eyewitnesses saw Jackson beat Fuselier.

So why were the charges dropped?

Dalton Savwoir, spokesman for the DA's office, says his office had no choice because they never received a report from the Orleans Parish Criminal Sheriff's Office (OPCSO). Renee Lapeyrolerie with OPCSO says she's confused.

"(Jackson) was rebooked in the system, so I don't know what report they're talking about," Lapeyrolerie says.

Savwoir says they could reinstate the charges if they ever get a report from OPCSO.

Meanwhile, Jackson has pleaded not guilty to the armed robbery charges that originally brought him to OPP on the day Fuselier was killed. He will face a hearing on those charges on November 11. As for Oscar Fuselier, he is still dead and his suspected attacker has so far gotten away with it.

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