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Bourbon Street shooting suspect Trung Le faces Dec. 1 trial date


NEW ORLEANS — The lone known suspect in a mass shooting on Bourbon Street could face a jury within a month.

Retired Criminal District Court Judge Jerome Winsberg, who is handling the case against Trung Le, set Dec. 1 as a tentative trial date during a hearing Monday.

The New Orleans Advocate reports ( ) the hearing dealt with a handful of issues, ranging from Le's safety inside Orleans Parish Prison to which judge will preside over the trial.

Le is alleged to be one of two men who exchanged gunfire June 29, injuring nine people and killing 21-year-old Brittany Thomas. His attorney says Le fired in self-defense. The second gunman has not been identified.

Le also pleaded not guilty to a battery charge stemming from a Sept. 30 fight with another inmate at the jail.

His lawyer, Martin Regan, told Winsberg he believed Le was in danger in prison and asked the judge to transfer him to a facility in St. Charles Parish. Winsberg said it was up to Sheriff Marlin Gusman to decide whether Le is safe.

Phillip Stelly, a spokesman for the Sheriff's Office, said Le is being held in "protective custody." He did not immediately respond to a question about what that involves or how long Le has been kept there.

After the hearing, Regan said Le was being taunted and harassed because of publicity surrounding the case.

Winsberg also scheduled a status conference for Nov. 10 to discuss witness statements Regan has been asking the District Attorney's office to provide.

Meanwhile, it's unclear how long Winsberg will be hearing the case. He has been filling in for Judge Julian Parker, who has been ill for months and is not running for re-election.

However, Winsberg's time on the Section G docket ends next week, when retired Judge Calvin Johnson is scheduled to take over. Johnson is slated to run the court until Jan. 1, when a new judge will be sworn in.

Information from: The New Orleans Advocate,

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