DA Jason Williams with Dr. Kimberly McNeil (Mother of NOPD Officer Marcus McNeil), Brittany McNeil (Widow of NOPD Officer Marcus McNeil), Alorea McNeil Gilyot (Aunt of NOPD Officer Marcus McNeil), NOPD Superintendent Shaun Ferguson, Victim/Witness Advocate Vickie Landry and NOPD officers.
NEW ORLEANS – Yesterday, District Attorney Jason Williams, along with Assistant District Attorneys (ADAs) Andre Gaudin, Jr. and Simone Levine, secured the conviction of defendant Darren Bridges for the murder of New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) Officer Marcus McNeil in the fall of 2017, while he was serving in the line of duty in New Orleans East. A unanimous jury found Bridges guilty of First Degree Murder, Obstruction of Justice, Attempted Aggravated Assault Upon a Police Officer as well as Possession with Intent to Distribute Cocaine, Alprazolam, Tramadol, and Possession of Buprenorphine.
“The men and women of the New Orleans Police Department work hard every single day to keep our communities safe. Officer McNeil was a great example of this dedication, and he lost his life in service to the people of New Orleans. In securing this First Degree Murder conviction, my office ensured that the person who made the horrendous decision to take his life was held accountable,” said District Attorney Jason Williams. “As the chief prosecutor in New Orleans, it was incredibly important to me to personally try this case. I am grateful for the hard work of ADAs Andre Gaudin and Simone Levine, who tried this case with me. Additionally, I am thankful for the care and attention of Victim/Witness Advocate Vickie Landry, who has worked closely with the McNeil family and shepherded them through this difficult process. Also, special thanks to NOPD Sergeant David Barnes, as well as the other officers who worked on this case, for providing our office with the evidence needed to secure this conviction. Our hearts and prayers continue to be with the family and friends of Officer McNeil. It is our prayer that this conviction provides some closure in this unbelievably sad and tragic situation.”
This case required collaboration and teamwork across agencies. The Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office is grateful for the hard work of NOPD Officers: Sergeant David Barnes (Lead Detective), Lieutenant Ray Jones, Lieutenant Regina Williams, Sergeant Alexander Kelly, Sergeant John Helou, Detective Derrick Burmaster, Ballistics Expert Sean McElrath, Senior Officer Michael Sartain, Officer Theodore Koelling, Retired Officer William Giblin and Former Officer Stephen Steffano.
The trial took place in Section L of Criminal District Court; Judge Angel Harris presided. The sentencing date is set for November 2, 2022. The defendant faces life in prison.
This case serves as the 5th case that DA Williams has successfully tried in Criminal District Court. Since the resumption of jury trials in March, DA Williams has tried 5 cases in front of juries – 4 homicides and 1 rape – and all resulted in guilty verdicts. These cases include:
- DA Williams, along with OPDA Trials Division Chief Matthew Derbes, secured the conviction of Samuel Hunter for the Second Degree Murder of Anthony Bridges in the 1700 block of Monroe Street on Christmas Day 2020.
- DA Williams, along with OPDA Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (SAKI) Unit Chief Mary Glass and ADA Naomi Jones, secured the conviction of William McDonough for the rape of a victim in the 900 block of Poeyfarre Street in September 2016.
- DA Williams, along with ADAs Christian Hebert-Pryor and Screening Chief Andre Gaudin, Jr., secured the conviction of Garrett Ward for the killing of 60-year-old Arnold Jackson in the 2000 block of Saint Charles Avenue in January 2018.
- DA Williams, along with ADAs Joe Zanetti and Corbin Bates, secured the guilty as charged conviction of Damond Scott for Second Degree Murder, Attempted Second Degree Murder, and Obstruction of Justice in the St. Roch neighborhood in January 2017.
- DA Williams, along with ADAs Andre Gaudin, Jr. and Simone Levine, secured the First Degree Murder conviction of Darren Bridges for the murder of NOPD Officer Marcus McNeil in New Orleans East in October 2017.