Baton Rouge man indicted in beating death of man on St. Charles Ave.

Garrett James Ward

NEW ORLEANS — A 25-year-old Baton Rouge man has been charged with second-degree murder in the January beating death of a pedestrian on St. Charles Avenue.

According to the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office, a grand jury handed down the indictment against 25-year-old Garrett Ward this week. He faces mandatory life in prison if convicted.

Ward, a commercial real estate agent at the time of his arrest, is accused of punching and kicking 60-year-old Arnold Jackson in the 2000 block of St. Charles Ave. about 1:30 a.m. on Jan. 6.

New Orleans police arrested Ward for second-degree battery after two witnesses identified him as the man who attacked Jackson. Ward was found highly intoxicated in a nearby parking garage.

At least one witness told police Ward appeared to have been drunk when he attacked Jackson without warning or reason. The witness described Jackson as “casually walking down the street minding his own business” when the younger man lunged and began punching his head.

The charges were upgraded to second-degree murder after Jackson died of his injuries Jan. 18.

Ward has been free since posting a $250,000 bond, but is expected to surrender to authorities. His new bond is $1 million.