Suspect pleads guilty to manslaughter, avoids murder trial for family member’s death

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Photo of Sean Newman provided by Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office

NEW ORLEANS — The Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office announced the conviction of Sean Newman in connection with the death of his own cousin.  The case is at least the third this week in which a suspect who was booked with murder pleaded guilty to a lesser charge to avoid trial.

Sean Newman faced a murder charge for the May 2016 death of his cousin, 25-year-old Darnell Ussery.

Prosecutors say Ussery and Newman were riding in a car along  with two other family members when an argument turned physical.  The car stopped and the family members stepped onto the sidewalk where prosecutors say Newman stabbed Ussery who bled to death.

In exchange for his plea agreement, Newman was sentenced to 10 years in prison.  The DA’s office says the mother of the victim had no opposition to the agreement or sentence.

Photo of Roycelyn Young provided by Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office

Earlier this week, the DA’s office announced a manslaughter plea agreement that spared a woman from going to trial for the murder of another woman in 2016.

On the day she was supposed to go to trial for the shooting death of a woman, Roycelyn Young agreed to plead guilty to the lesser charge in exchange for a 35 year prison sentence.

Prosecutors say that the big break in the case came from a CrimeStoppers tip stating that Young hid the murder weapon inside an employee locker at the hotel where she worked as a housekeeper.

Young also pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice.  Prosecutors say the victim’s family approved the plea agreement.

Photo of Jermaine Reynolds provided by Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office

Also on Monday, another suspect in a murder case, Jermaine Reynolds, Jr., pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of manslaughter on the day his trial was set to begin.

Prosecutors say Reynolds shot and killed his victim at The Marquis apartments in the 2600 block of Poydras Street on October 26, 2016.

They say the shooting happened inside the apartment that Reynolds shared with the victim’s brother.  Reynolds also pleaded guilty to obstruction of justice and was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

As in the other cases, prosecutor say the family of the victim approved of the plea agreement.



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