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Oct 5, 2010 9:37 PM by Alison Haynes

New Orleans man pleads to manslaughter in 4 deaths

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - A plea deal Tuesday ended the case of a 2006
shooting rampage in a New Orleans neighborhood that left four
people dead.
Prosecutors dropped murder charges against Raymond Amison, 23,
to manslaughter when he appeared in court for jury selection. In
exchange, Amison agreed to serve 10 years for the July 28, 2006,
slayings of Kadeem and Kareem Stephens, both 16, their 21-year-old
brother, Kendall Stephens, and their family friend, 39-year-old
Carl Lucineo.
State District Judge Camille Buras sentenced Amison to 10 years
with credit for the six years he's already served while awaiting
trial.
Defense attorney Donald Sauviac told The Times-Picayune that the
deal was in the best interest of his client who he says is mentally
disabled.
"In light of the exposure to the death penalty, it's basically
an offer that we couldn't refuse," said Sauviac. "He's mentally
retarded and we don't think he should have ever been exposed to the
death penalty."
Prosecutors had no physical evidence linking Amison or his
brother, Kevin, to the attack and they were relying on shaky
witness identifications.
The quadruple slaying unfolded on a dead-end street in Treme
when the victims were ambushed by two gunmen as their relatives
watched nearby.
Police arrested the Amison brothers days after the ambush. Kevin
Amison's trial in October 2008 ended with a deadlocked jury. Three
months later, prosecutors dismissed the murder charges against him
and proceeded to try Raymond Amison for the crime.

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