Alternative title: Maybe now we know why Edwin Murray decided not to run for mayor of New Orleans last year.
From the Times-Picayune:
A New Orleans woman has pleaded guilty to filing a false crime report that landed a Belle Chasse woman in jail and raised questions about why a detective failed to quickly discover the lie.
Robin Murray, 26, agreed Friday to serve as much as 18 months behind bars in a plea deal that includes paying restitution to real estate appraiser Ingrid Leverett, who was wrongly accused by Murray of stealing a laptop from her car in an Algiers parking lot last March.
Murray lodged her false claim just days after she was arrested in Jefferson Parish for stealing a stove, microwave oven and dishwasher from the home she was leasing from Leverett. Leverett had evicted Murray for failing to pay rent.
Murray, niece of state Sen. Edwin Murray, accused Leverett of driving up in her BMW and swiping the laptop. But Leverett had witnesses and a solid alibi: She had traded in the BMW more than a month earlier.
It appears that Miz Murray has a record of sorts. Among other items, it seems, she was convicted for lying on an job application at a local casino – something you can’t do, since to work there you’ve got to be licensed by the state. And since she was a deadbeat renter who had already run off with some of Ms. Leverett’s appliances, she had lots of motive for making that false claim.
You’d think this would have been pretty easy for the cops to sniff out. Except since Murray made the claim that her laptop got swiped in Algiers, which is in Orleans Parish, guess who investigated it? You’ve got it – the NOPD. Represented, in part, by local eminence, state Sen. Edwin Murray.
And that’s when this story really goes south.
Leverett said the officer who investigated Murray’s claim, NOPD Detective Kevin Bell, repeatedly accused her over the phone of lying, claiming he had video footage of the theft, before securing a warrant for her arrest.
“It was like he had a vendetta against me,” she said. “It was really, really strange.”
An internal probe cleared Bell and his supervisors of any wrongdoing. But a recent draft report fromIndependent Police Monitor Susan Hutson criticizes how Bell and others handled the case and calls for more investigation into whether they neglected to poke around before hauling Leverett to jail.
Murray was on probation at the time, with a criminal record that included a conviction for lying on a casino job application, “and had motive to frame Ms. Leverett for burglary,” according to Hutson’s draft report.
“In Ms. Leverett’s case, her alibi information was readily available and was volunteered by Ms. Leverett in her initial phone conversation with Det. Bell,” the draft report states.
Leverett also disputes a claim by Bell that he read her her rights and asked her to come in for questioning.
She said six U.S. marshals and two Plaquemines Parish officers showed up at her door last April and arrested her. Her blood pressure shot up, she said, and she was hospitalized before being taken to Orleans Parish jail, where sheriff’s deputies fitted her for orange jails scrubs, shackled her and held her overnight before she made bond.
New Orleans police reinvestigated the case after she told her story to a WWL-TV reporter. Hutson declined to discuss the draft, saying her report could change significantly.
“It all depends on the department’s response to my questions and concerns about the investigation,” she said. “There are a lot of questions that we had about it.”
Leverett said she filed a federal civil rights lawsuit last week against the New Orleans Police Department.
In other words, a criminal connected to a local politician, who ditches her landlord on the rent and loots the place, responds to an eviction and a criminal complaint for the looted appliances by cooking up a story and telling it to the corrupt-as-hell NOPD – which results in said landlord having to spend a night in jail after a stopover at the hospital, for nothing other than renting to the wrong tenant.
Is it a racial deal? Yep.
But that’s not the issue. The issue is that in New Orleans, if you’re connected by blood or otherwise to the right politicians it seems you can get all the favorable treatment you like from the NOPD no matter what sort of slimeball you might be.
Mitch Landrieu said his first priority after taking over his job last year was to fix the NOPD. He brought Eric Holder in to help out with that. Hell of a job they’re doing with the cops down there. They’re cleaning up nicely.