Police looking for murder suspect DA’s office says was illegally released

Donnell Brown

NEW ORLEANS – The NOPD and U.S. Marshals are searching for a man accused of murder who was inappropriately released while awaiting trial.

Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro said Orleans Parish Magistrate Commissioner Jonathan Friedman acted inappropriately when he ordered the release of 21-year-old Donnell Brown on August 2.

“The laws of this state regarding pretrial detainees are clear, and must be followed even by an appointed commissioner who seems intent on making up his own,” Cannizzaro said. “This is the same commissioner who recently granted illegal recognizance bonds to free the two disgraced rookie NOPD officers who assaulted a patron of the Mid-City Yacht Club. Now, he has more severely jeopardized public safety and potentially put murder witnesses in harm’s way by illegally opening the cell of an accused killer. This lunacy must end before someone is hurt or killed.”

Brown is accused of opening fire during a Mother’s Day second line parade on May 13, 2018, killing 35-year-old Herbert Foster and wounding a 15-year-old girl.

Under Louisiana law, Cannizzaro said his office had 120 days from Brown’s arrest on June 1 to secure a grand jury indictment before Brown would automatically be eligible for release.

Friedman released Brown after only 62 days, despite repeated warnings from the DA’s office, Cannizzaro said.

Magistrate Judge Harry Cantrell has agreed with Cannizzaro’s position, leading to a new arrest warrant for Brown and the reinstatement of his $750,000 bond.

Anyone with information on Brown’s whereabouts is encouraged to contact the NOPD or Crimestoppers at (504) 822-1111.