16-year-old tried as adult, sentenced to 55 years for carjacking couple in Harahan
JEFFERSON PARISH, La. (WVUE) - A Jefferson Parish judge on Monday (Sept. 19) sentenced a 16-year-old to 55 years in prison for carjacking a couple in Harahan earlier this year, according to District Attorney Paul Connick.
Maurice Ervin was prosecuted as an adult and convicted of two counts of armed robbery with a firearm.
The violent carjacking unfolded along a busy stretch of Hickory Avenue on Feb. 12. The incident shocked residents and even sparked the Harahan mayor to release a statement to the community.
The ordeal began as Ervin was reportedly trying to enter apartments wearing a ski mask and armed with a pistol.
At the same time, officials say a man and his wife in their 70s stopped their vehicle on Hickory Avenue around 4 p.m. to take photos of roof work being done in the area. The woman was in the front seat when police say Ervin ran up and jumped into the driver’s seat of the vehicle, pointed the pistol at the woman’s head, and threw the car in reverse. That’s when her husband jumped into action.
“The husband is a hero in my opinion. He didn’t hesitate. He immediately turned to pull the subject out of the car, wrestled with him over the gun, trying to save his wife who was sitting in the passenger seat of the car. I can’t say enough how both of these people reacted to this. They were victims, but they weren’t going to play victim. The hero in this story is the husband - 73 years old and didn’t hesitate,” said assistant police chief Bryan St. Cyr.
The woman was able to get out of the car, and her husband continued to struggle with Ervin at gunpoint. Police say the teenage gunman dragged the man and ran over his foot as he took off in the victim’s vehicle.
Connick says a nearby Good Samaritan saw the carjacking take place, called 911, and followed the vehicle until the Harahan Police Department and Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office were able to intervene.
A brief chase ensued along Jefferson Highway and ended after Ervin sped through a construction zone at the Huey P. Long Bridge, drove over a median into oncoming traffic, and crashed into a utility pole where he was arrested.
A jury deliberated just one hour before returning a unanimous guilty verdict on Wed., Sept. 14.
Ervin was sentenced to 50 years for each count of armed robbery and five years for using a firearm. Judge Frank Brindisi ran the sentences concurrently.
“If you come here and misbehave, we are going to prosecute you to the fullest and there’s a real good chance you’re going to get caught here,” Mayor Tim Baudier said in his statement in the days after the carjacking.
An uptick in crime involving juveniles has prompted neighboring Orleans Parish District Attorney Jason Williams to try four teens as adults in the gruesome carjacking death of Linda Frickey, as well as a Bridge City escapee and his alleged accomplice in an Uptown carjacking and shooting.
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