Victim’s Voice: Mother gets justice after son’s killer convicted

After over four years, Kendra Carter received a bit of closure when a jury convicted her son’s killer of three charges, including second-degree murder on Sept. 16.

Kendra’s son, Christopher Carter, was at his grandmother’s home in Maringouin with family and friends following a Mardi Gras parade in February 2018, when Larry West shot Christopher in the back of the head and Christopher’s cousin in the leg. The cousin recovered from her injuries.

West’s trial began Sept. 12. The jury deliberated for around three and a half hours before returning the guilty verdict.

West’s uncle Danny Smith was driving the vehicle that night and turned himself hours after the shooting. Law enforcement arrested West close to two weeks later.

“From what they said, they were mean mugging,” Kendra Carter said. “They passed by and they (West and his uncle Danny Smith) said they (Christopher and others) were mean mugging when they passed by. They passed by the first time, they came back the second time. When they came back the second time is when they got out of the vehicle, passed a few words and started shooting.”

Carter said hearing the verdict eased a bit of what her family’s been feeling for the last four and a half years.

“I mean, it’s a lot of weight lifted off my shoulders,” Kendra said. “My son has four kids, so it’s been hard. My oldest grandson saw his dad on the ground that night. When I looked around, I could see my grandson outside of my neighbor’s home looking at his dad on the ground. So he remembers.

I feel a little better because he (West) is behind bars,” she added. “He’s going to Angola for the rest of his life. I think he just got out of prison in 2016. So he’s been a problem child. His uncle, the driver, he’s been charged of I think attempted murder before and stuff like that. They have been in and out of jail before. My son never been to jail, never was in trouble before and to go and kill him?”

Christopher’s death left his four children, who were at the time ranging in age from 1 to 6 years old, without their father.

“They need to put the guns down,” Kendra said. “Unnecessary, senseless killings. They need to put the guns down.”

West’s attorney, Franz Borghardt said they will appeal the verdict.

“To be sure, we are disappointed at the loss and will file an appeal on Mr. West’s behalf,” he said.

West’s sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 3 at 9 a.m.

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