The Complicated Case of Merritt Landry

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

The reason the DA’s office dropped their case against Merritt Landry was simple: they didn’t have a case.  Marigny home owner Merritt Landry shot unarmed intruder Marshal Coulter in the head.  Coulter, according to his family, is a “career thief”, but that doesn’t necessarily make him guilty.  Because Coulter was found again in the same neighborhood attempting to rob again, doesn’t justify the shooting either.  Also, because Coulter was unarmed doesn’t make Landry guilty either.

Landry’s character, as well as Coulter’s, has nothing to do with this case.  It’s actually really simple: if and only if your life is threatened can you use deadly force to protect yourself.  That’s it.  You can’t just shoot someone in your own backyard, even if they are stealing from you.  Obviously the DA thought Landry was protecting himself or at the very least, didn’t have any proof suggesting the opposite.  Because Coulter is a “career thief” doesn’t make him eligible to be shot.  And just because Landry found Coulter in his backyard, doesn’t give him the right to shoot him.  Landry said his life was threatened.  Coulter or his family hasn’t said otherwise.  The DA did the only thing he could do and it was the right thing.