A May 2016 Street View image from Google Maps shows Hi Class Customs on South Claiborne Avenue in New Orleans. It is in a driveway behind the business that Simon B. Morris, 31, is accused of beating to death a man who he said stole his wallet the morning of Friday, Aug. 10, 2018. Morris is charged with manslaughter in the alleged pickpocket's death.
Morris caught up with the alleged pickpocket in the rear driveway of Hi Class Customs, an auto upholstery and window tinting shop across the street, and got his wallet back. That's when the beating began, the Advocate reported.
Witnesses who tried to restrain Morris told investigators he punched and kicked Edwin even as the man "was begging Morris to stop and was attempting to cover his face and body," police officials said. The beating went on "for a duration of five minutes or more," the Advocate reported.
Bystanders were eventually able to pull Morris off the man.
Louisiana law defines manslaughter as a homicide "committed in sudden passion or heat of blood immediately caused by provocation sufficient to deprive an average person of his self-control and cool reflection."
If convicted, Morris faces up to 40 years in prison.