Victim was defendant’s relative and refused to cooperate, requesting DA’s Office drop the charges. Without her testimony, DA’s Office was unable to meet burden of proof for conviction.

NEW ORLEANS – Following the misleading narrative being propagated about the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office (OPDA) dropping a charge against a defendant involved in the murder of 73-year-old Linda Frickey, OPDA released a video clearing up misconceptions around the dropped charges and providing additional information to the public on the office’s work.

To view the video, click the above image or here.

OPDA Chief of Trials Matthew Derbes said, “There is a misleading narrative that is being propagated about this DA’s Office and it is important that, as your First Assistant District Attorney, I set the record straight.

“Let me begin by saying just how horrific the murder of 73-year-old Linda Frickey truly is. And as DA Williams said, everyone that participated in this heinous murder will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

“Chief Ferguson said, “A previous case has nothing to do with a current case someone is facing.” And that is absolutely accurate. But, since many in the media have crafted this misleading narrative, let’s address it.

“In May 2020, one of the defendants was arrested for Simple Battery & Home Invasion. The case was referred to adult court on an aggravated burglary charge by the previous administration.

“The victim was his family member. She stated that she did not want to cooperate in the prosecution and requested that our office drop the case since the defendant was her relative. She decided to handle the matter with her family.

“The victim’s testimony was essential evidence in securing a conviction in this case. Without it, we were unable to meet our burden of proof for conviction and regardless of our opinions, as prosecutors we cannot prosecute without evidence. This is why the charge was dropped. Period.

“And unlike the previous administration, we do not believe in putting victims in jail to force their involvement in the prosecutorial process. Our job is to protect victims, not further traumatize them.

“With that, no one in this city should see that dropped charge as a lack of commitment by this office to hold the defendant accountable. Nor should anyone in this city presuppose what our decision will be in this Linda Frickey case.

“In fact, our office is working every day to hold those who commit violent offenses accountable. And while the media will quickly broadcast dropped charges, what they fail to show is any real, sufficient coverage of the work our office is doing to secure convictions. Since jury trials have resumed, we have secured convictions in every single case that has gone to court including four murder cases and a rape case – 2 of which DA Williams tried himself. Additionally, we have secured nearly 300 guilty pleas this year alone for a number of violent offenses including armed robbery, burglary, sexual assault and domestic violence to name a few.

“So, please do not believe everything you read and hear. Regardless of what misleading narrative is being put out about the DA’s Office, know that we are hard at work to increase safety and secure justice for the people of New Orleans every day. So, to suggest otherwise is simply untrue. Thank you.”