Joe McKnight was shot dead in a road rage incident on December 1st of last year. The shooter, Ronald Gasser, was originally arrested for manslaughter. That’s mainy because Jefferson Parish Sheriff Newell Normand never met a white guy with a gun he didn’t like. A grand jury saw things differently, however, and indicted the shooter Gasser with second-degree murder. That’s a distinction with a difference, because second-degree murder carries a mandatory life sentence. Gasser’s looking at life as a plantation slave.
Joe McKnight – murder victim
This is serious business, and the JP DA’s office must clean up the public relations mess Normand left them. Gasser, can afford private counsel. They’re hard at work, making motions to suppress evidence:
Among several claims, the motion states Gasser’s confession was not obtained “freely and voluntarily, but (was) made under the influence of fear, intimidation, threats or other duress, or because of promises or other inducements.” The motion also claims Gasser was not read his Miranda rights, and that investigators seized evidence without issuing a proper search warrant.
This is pretty much pro-forma for defense attorneys. It’s going to be tough for them to convince the court that a guy who started his self-defense claims as soon as he got out of his vehicle was intimidated or coerced.
Sheriff Normand can’t help himself
Of course, the Sheriff tossed the ADAs on the case under the bus:
“Our arrest is only as good as a prosecution,” Normand said. “We accomplish nothing if we make an arrest and we can’t put ourselves in the best posture to reach a successful prosecution.”
Yessir, that’s cooperation to get criminals off the street, I tell you. While Normand’s latest presser was a far cry from his December temper tantrums about social media, he really needs a PR consultant. He needs someone who will tell him to shut up and maintain his dignity. Jefferson Parish is already a #shitshow of politicians who don’t know how to act.
Still, at this point, things look good in terms of justice for Joe McKnight. Gasser is not an appealing defendant, even though he’s a white man who shot a black man.