A judge in Louisiana’s Woodward Academy shooting trial finds that no one shot and killed the teacher who was accused of threatening students with a weapon
NEW YORK — A judge in New Orleans has ruled that no student shot and seriously wounded Woodward academy’s principal in the January 2014 shooting death of his 15-year-old daughter.
Laurence Brown, 44, has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder in the shooting death.
Brown’s lawyer, Charles J. Johnson, said Brown, a white man, had been a victim of a racist and hateful attack that began with an argument over a racial slur.
Brown and another man who was not identified in court but is black were accused of shooting the teacher, who was white, in the head in an apparent attempt to prevent him from teaching.
The teacher was shot in the face, neck and torso.
“We have every reason to believe that the principal would not have been hit,” Judge Timothy M. Phelan said at a preliminary hearing Wednesday in New York City.
He said Brown’s actions were reasonable and that the shooting was justified.
A jury found Brown not guilty of second-degree manslaughter and second-offense murder charges.
Brown faces a possible life sentence.
In a statement, the Woodward School District said Brown and a former assistant principal, Richard Brown, have been placed on paid administrative leave.
Johnson has said that Brown was not an armed threat to students and the shooting did not threaten any other student.