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Bouncers lawyers seek mistrial in GSU student slaying case
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    LAKE CHARLES, La. — Defense attorneys for a Bourbon Street nightclub bouncer accused of manslaughter in the 2004 death of a Georgia college student sought a mistrial Wednesday after a witness cried on the stand, but the judge turned them down.
    Witness Glenda Milton was the girlfriend of Levon Jones, who died after a clash with bouncers outside Razzoo Bar & Patio in New Orleans on Dec. 31, 2004, about 12:35 a.m.
    Arthur Irons, 43, of Slidell, is the first of four white men to stand trial for the manslaughter of Jones, who was black. The Louisiana Supreme Court allowed the trial to take place outside New Orleans due to the national pretrial publicity that followed the death of the flag football player from Statesboro, Ga.
    Jones, 26, stopped breathing from the ‘‘excessive force’’ delivered to him that night, the Orleans Parish Coroner’s office has ruled. The defense team, however, argues that Jones was a drunken, rowdy college student who swung first at the bouncers, who were only doing their job by restraining him in an effort to protect bystanders.
    Jones’ death touched off debate in New Orleans about the treatment of black customers in the city’s nightclubs. Following the death, a local anti-discrimination agency issued a report that found wide-ranging discrimination at Bourbon Street hot spots, from price-gouging to uneven enforcement of posted dress codes.
    During a mystery-shopper type of investigation, the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center said that black customers were treated with less respect than their white counterparts at 57 percent of 28 Bourbon Street clubs and bars that boast live music or a disc jockey.
    Milton began crying on the witness stand Wednesday as she testified about the night Jones died. She composed herself after a brief recess.
    Defense attorneys sought a mistrial based on her display of emotion but state District Judge Raymond Bigelow denied the request.
    On Tuesday, witness Alexis Austin testified that Jones and another of her friends, Anthony Williams, were told to get their ‘‘black a--’’ away from the Razzoo doorway, and that racial slur set off the incident that left Jones dead.
    One black and 13 white jurors, all from Calcasieu Parish, are hearing the Irons case. Matthew Taylor, Brandon Vicknair, and Clay Montz are awaiting separate trials, none of which will be held in New Orleans.
    Irons faces up to 40 years in prison if convicted of manslaughter.
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