An eastern New Orleans man booked with murder last month is accused of shooting to death one of two men he says bound and tortured him in July, according to court records.
Jean-Luc Williams, 24, was booked with second-degree murder in connection with the death of Karim Peters, a career criminal found shot to death Aug. 7 inside a bullet-riddled Acura outside an eastern New Orleans apartment building.
New Orleans police investigators said that Williams had been identified by witnesses as the gunman and that he later admitted to detectives that he used his .40-caliber handgun to shoot Peters. Williams’ bond was set at $750,000 on the murder allegation.
The warrant narrative did not suggest a motive, but Peters, 30, had a long criminal history in Orleans Parish and had been targeted by a gunman more than once. In 2007, Peters was wounded in a shooting that police blamed on Cup and Troy Hankton, cousins of reputed Uptown crime lord Telly Hankton, who police suspected of ordering the attempted hit on two rivals who were in Peters’ car.
Court documents show that during a police interview following his murder arrest, Williams told a graphic tale of being held captive sometime in July and subjected to torture and abuse at the hands of Peters and a man he identified as Billy “White Shoes” Johnson, 30.
Johnson, who has long been on the radar of local police but rarely behind bars, had remained at-large until being booked with second-degree kidnapping, sexual battery and a parole violation.
Williams told an NOPD Sex Crimes detective that he had been lured to a home in the 4600 block of Rosemont Place sometime in July to discuss the return of a tool that belonged to Peters. Williams told police he had been avoiding Peters since early July, when Peters borrowed his truck, returned it damaged, and refused to pay for repairs.
Williams told police that Peters and Johnson grabbed him when he entered the house and tied up his hands and feet. He said his pants were pulled down by Peters, who then beat him on the buttocks with a slipper and “tried to push a stick” into his rectum. Williams told detectives he thrashed and squirmed while Johnson recorded video of the attack on a cell phone.
Williams said the two men then carried him into a back room of the house, where he said Peters shoved a gun into his mouth and threatened to kill him. Williams said both men continued torturing him, cutting off his hair and burning him with cigarettes.
For reasons not made clear in the report, Williams said the assault stopped when he agreed to drive his assailants to Sorrento in Ascension Parish. After Peters and Johnson stepped out of his truck in Sorrento, Williams told police he sped off, leaving them behind.
Williams said he tried reporting the assault, but “the police did not respond,” according to the report. When Williams was told by his mother that officers had arrived, he said he was too afraid to return to the neighborhood to make his report. The warrant said an officer cleared the incident as unfounded, since he had no complainant to interview.
Williams told detectives he later visited the NOPD’s 7th District substation — the one commanded by Michael Harrison before his Aug. 18 promotion to interim superintendent — to report the incident, “but was refused by the desk officer.” The warrant said Williams began sleeping at different residences to avoid being found by Peters or Johnson.
Orleans Parish court records show only one previous arrest for Williams, a cocaine possession charge that was not prosecuted after Williams was accepted into the district attorney’s diversion program in September 2012.
At the time of the alleged attack, Johnson was out on early parole, following a heroin trafficking conviction in Jefferson Parish for which he was sentenced to five years in May 2011.
Orleans Parish court records show Johnson has six previous arrests in New Orleans from 2003-13 — including one for attempted second-degree murder in 2008 and another for principal to first-degree murder last November — but charges were either refused or dropped by prosecutors in all but one of those cases. Johnson pleaded guilty in 2003 to possession of a stolen car and received an 18-month suspended sentence in that case.
Johnson’s bond was set at $300,000 on the bookings for second-degree kidnapping and sexual battery.
NOPD spokesman Tyler Gamble said Johnson was one of six people arrested in connection with the murder of 23-year-old Terrill Andrews, who was gunned down outside an eastern New Orleans home on Jan. 28, 2011. Johnson was jailed eight days last November before his principal to first-degree murder charge was refused.
Gamble said the police department classifies the Andrews murder case as “cleared by arrest.” But Orleans Parish prosecutors have refused to file charges until the evidence in the case is strengthened.
“Should additional leads arise, we would present them to the DA’s office for additional review,” Gamble said.