Man who shot garda in New Orleans sentenced to 10 years
Garda recently given suspended sentence for assault on two women was shot in 2015
Melvin Galle jnr (43) entered a plea admitting his January 2015 attack on Limerick-based garda Brian Hanrahan at New Orleans Criminal District Court. File photograph: New Orleans Police Department
Prosecutors had earlier said Hanrahan, who was 32 at the time, was lured by Galle on a 3km walk out of the French Quarter, the popular New Orleans tourist and night spot, in a search for more alcohol when he was robbed at gunpoint after withdrawing $200 (€186) from an ATM.
Hanrahan was shot twice, in the chest and leg, after refusing to hand over the money. He underwent emergency surgery in New Orleans. He later returned to Ireland.
Separately, earlier this month Hanrahan received a six month suspended sentence after being convicted of assaulting two women in a row over a lift in a car.
The father-of-two had denied the charges which involved punching and kicking one woman and hitting another in an incident in Nenagh last March.
Galle faced a sentence of 10-99 years for armed robbery and 10-50 years for attempted second-degree murder. However, under the terms of a plea deal, he received the minimum term for armed robbery and the maximum 10-year term on an amended charge of aggravated battery.
Judge Arthur Hunter ordered the 10-year sentences to be served concurrently. Galle was credited for time served since his arrest on February 3rd, 2015, seven days after Mr Hanrahan was shot.
The defendant’s younger brother Keith Galle (36) was arrested the same day on suspicion of joining in the shooting and robbery. But Hanrahan was not able to identify him as the gunman.
Without corroborating video or DNA evidence to place Keith Galle at the crime scene, Orleans parish assistant district attorney Robert Ferrier announced that the state was dropping the charges against him.
Mr Ferrier said authorities reserved the right to reinstitute the charges against Keith Galle should further evidence emerge.
According to New Orleans police reports, Melvin Galle jnr initially denied involvement in the crime, and blamed the entire incident on his brother Keith. But at a court hearing in November 2016, testifying against the advice of his solicitor Jeffrey Hufft, Melvin Galle recanted his statement and told the judge his brother was never involved in the robbery.
Police were unable to identify any other suspect in what Hanrahan said was a two-man holdup.