NEW ORLEANS – Yesterday, the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office secured the indictment of Benjamin Beale for the Second Degree Murder of Julia Dardar near the 2000 block of Pauline Street in January 2022. The Orleans Parish Grand Jury also indicted Beale for Obstruction of Justice in a Homicide Investigation, Creation or Operation of Clandestine Drug Laboratory, Creation or Operation of Clandestine Drug Laboratory within 1000 Feet of a School, Illegal Carrying of a Weapon with a Controlled Dangerous Substance, Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine, Possession with Intent to Distribute Psilocybin, and Simple Assault.
“From Day 1, we have been laser-focused on prosecuting violent crime in New Orleans and holding those responsible who choose to wreak havoc in our communities,” said District Attorney Jason Williams. “What Ms. Dardar experienced is absolutely tragic and egregious. We will do everything in our power to ensure we secure justice for her and her family.”
According to the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) reports, Beale murdered and dismembered Dardar as well as hid her remains in a freezer.
This indictment is proof positive of a commitment to increase safety, and the DA’s Office looks forward to ensuring appropriate accountability for crime in our neighborhoods. Additionally, this indictment builds on the success of prosecutors to secure convictions in court since the resumption of jury trials.
- DA Williams, along with OPDA Trials Division Chief Matthew Derbes, secured the conviction of defendant Samuel Hunter for the Second Degree Murder of Anthony Bridges in the 1700 block of Monroe Street on Christmas Day 2020.
- ADAs Liz Strauss and Adele Krieger secured the conviction of Demeccio Caston for the Second Degree Murder of Patrick Lamar in New Orleans East in August 2019.
- ADAs Samantha Stagias and Carmen Gealogo secured the conviction of Trae Williams for the manslaughter of his uncle Eddie Salvant III in Algiers in April 2014.
- Chief Derbes and ADA Joe Zanetti secured the conviction of Harrison Bethley for the murder of his cousin, Darnell Thomas, in the 1800 block of Treasure Street in February 2020.
- ADAs Corbin Bates and Carmen Gealogo secured the conviction of Justyn Garrett for Domestic Abuse stemming from an incident in 2020.
- DA Williams, along with OPDA Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) Division Chief Mary Glass and ADA Naomi Jones, secured the conviction of defendant William McDonough for the rape of a victim in the 900 block of Poeyfarre Street in September 2016.
- ADA/Narcotics Chief Gaudin and First Asst. McGowan secured the conviction of Christopher Alexander for the murder of Idrick Brister in New Orleans East in 2018.
- ADAs Simone Levine and Brad Scott secured the conviction of defendant Gerald “Frog” West for the murder of Marion Brit Hutson, Jr. in New Orleans East in February 2018.
- SAKI Chief Mary Glass and ADA Naomi Jones secured the cold case conviction of defendant Roland Butler for kidnapping, robbery and sexual assault in 1996.
UNPRECEDENTED REALITIES AS JURY TRIALS RESUME
As the caseload increases, OPDA is in need of additional staff, funding and resources. District Attorney Williams continues to double down on his request to the New Orleans City Council and Mayor LaToya Cantrell to fund our requests for additional lawyers, more DNA testing analysts, and Cold Case funding to improve OPDA’s capacity and help prosecutors build stronger cases. The City of New Orleans has millions of dollars sitting in City coffers from the federal government that are earmarked for this exact need that are not being spent. OPDA needs immediate action to hire more people to handle this increased workload.
“We are prosecutors. Trying cases in front of a jury is what we do, so we are excited to back to court. However, we are faced with some of the most unprecedented challenges this office has ever seen. From an increased case load to a large DNA backlog, our office needs support and resources from City leadership,” said District Attorney Williams. “These times are absolutely the most challenging we’ve faced in recent history, but we are holding those who commit violent offenses accountable and securing justice for the victims and families. This office will be steadfast in restoring trust in our criminal legal system by securing convictions in some of the most difficult cases as well as addressing decades of indifference to the concerns of community.”