DA’s Office uses Firearm Enhancement, a key prong of DA Williams’ plan to combat violent crime, to ensure appropriate accountability for defendant
NEW ORLEANS – This week, the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office (OPDA) secured the conviction of defendant Joann McDaniel for the killing of 17-year-old Tajana Williams in New Orleans’ Desire neighborhood in August 2018. Led by Assistant District Attorneys (ADAs) Joseph Zanetti and Constance Tullier, the jury trial resulted in McDaniel being convicted of Manslaughter and Obstruction of Justice.
“This conviction is continued proof of our commitment to the people of New Orleans that the DA’s Office is surging back against crime and remaining laser-focused on ensuring that those who wreak havoc in our neighborhoods are held accountable for their actions,” said District Attorney Jason Williams. “Special thanks to ADAs Zanetti and Tullier for presenting a strong case and securing a unanimous conviction for the victims of this crime, as well as the care and attention provided by Victim/Witness Advocate Vickie Landry to the family. Additionally, I want to thank NOPD Detective Christopher Puccio for his diligent investigative efforts in this case. Now that a conviction is secured, we hope that the family and friends of 17-year-old Tajana Williams can continue moving forward in healing.”
The trial took place in Section H of Criminal District Court; Judge Camille Buras presided. The sentencing date is set for November 30, 2022. With the firearm enhancement, a key prong of DA Williams’ plan to combat violent crime, the defendant faces a minimum of 20 years in prison and a maximum of 40 years for Manslaughter. Additionally, she faces up to 40 years for Obstruction of Justice.
This conviction complements the success of DA Williams and OPDA prosecutors to secure convictions via jury trial since the resumption of jury trials in March. When cases come to OPDA with sufficient evidence, OPDA has vigorously fought for victims of violent crimes. Guilty jury trial verdicts secured since March include: