NEW ORLEANS — Three teens have been arrested after a New Orleans pastor's wife was run over and killed by her own car during a carjacking.
They were arrested Saturday in 49-year-old Jeannot Franco Plessy's death, news outlets reported. Authorities said Plessy was pulled from a car and thrown to the ground while stopped in front of her daughter's home Nov. 27. As her son-in-law tried to stop the carjacking, the teens reversed the vehicle, running over Plessy.
She died that night of what the coroner's office said was blunt force trauma. Her son-in-law was hospitalized for head injuries,
New Orleans police said a 17-year-old was charged with second-degree murder and carjacking, while 18-year-old Edwin Cottrell and another juvenile were charged with being principals to second-degree murder and principals to carjacking. But according to online court records, a judge on Sunday set bail for both Cottrell and the 17-year-old at $600,000 on charges of second-degree murder, carjacking and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.
It's unclear whether they have lawyers.
Investigators found a stolen van that had been seen tracking Plessy's car after it was stolen. A DNA sample collected from the van matched Cottrell, who was in the company of the other two teens when tracked down, authorities said. The 17-year-old waived his right to remain silent and recounted how the three teens and an unidentified girl had been riding in the van before he ambushed Plessy.
Local news media report Plessy was a mother-of-five who co-founded outreach ministry Crossover Christian Fellowship with her husband, 53-year-old David Plessy, more than a decade ago. David Plessy says his wife was a domestic abuse survivor, who had recently returned from an evangelical trip to American Samoa during domestic violence awareness month.
Her visitation and funeral service was scheduled for Monday morning at Metairie's Victory Fellowship Church, where the Plessys first met.
David Plessy has called his wife's death "an act of selfishness," but has preached forgiveness.
"One inclination would be to scream out for justice and scream out of anger, and perhaps that's a stage of my grief that's in front of me," Plessy said. "But I know my wife has never failed to forgive anyone who has hurt her."