As family members sobbed quietly from the seats in a criminal courtroom in the parish of Orleans, a judge sentenced the man who pleaded guilty to stabbing Portia Bullock to death to 35 years in prison on Friday, honoring an agreement struck between prosecutors and lawyers last month.
While convicting Brian Andre, Orleans District Criminal Court Judge Angel Harris said that “there is nothing that can be said or done in this court today that can bring your loved ones back,” but she apologized for their pain. Andrey will not be eligible for parole or probation.
Andrey, 48, Bullock, 60, was stabbed to death and stole her Honda CR last year in the seventh ward. He pleaded guilty to manslaughter and armed robbery on April 22 as part of an agreement that dropped the charges related to Bullock’s murder and cleared the charges in three other cases.
Andrey stood on the podium on Friday and apologized to several family members who came to court to speak on Bullock’s behalf.
“I just want to say, first of all, I never looked forward to that happening,” Andrey said, standing in handcuffs. “I just want to apologize for killing Mrs. Portia.”
He said he was under the influence of drugs when he stabbed Bullock, and that he does not clearly remember what happened. Andrei said, “If I could trade my life for hers, I would.”
Ronald Bullock, Portia Bullock’s younger brother, accepted Andrey’s apology as part of a victim impact statement he made prior to Andrey’s sentencing. But he also wished Andrey would take time to reflect on the beloved woman he had taken away from her family and the society of New Orleans.
“I hope you don’t leave prison alive,” Ronald Bullock told Andre, as the defendant cried and his attorney Michael Kennedy rubbed his back. But he added, “I hope you find redemption for your soul in these 12,784 days you have” in prison.
Andrey was originally charged with second-degree murder, armed robbery, possession of a firearm by a perpetrator, and obstruction of justice. If convicted, the second-degree murder charge alone carries a mandatory life sentence without parole or probation.
Witnesses to the stabbing told New Orleans police they heard Bullock’s screams, then saw her fight with a man who left in her car. Police identified Andrey as the suspected killer after a street camera showed him walking near Bullock’s house minutes before he was killed.
In 2020, before a fatal confrontation with Bullock, Andrey was charged with two counts of armed robbery and possession of a firearm by a criminal. Released from prison in February 2021, he was awaiting trial on those charges when he stabbed Bullock. These charges were dropped as part of Andrey’s plea agreement.
Bullock was a beloved physical therapist and drummer who participated in Congo Square on Sundays, a tradition in which drummers and community members gather each week to create rhythm and honor ancestors.
Drumming beside Pollock in Congo Square, Dennis Greaves said she still pictured Pollock “riding her rifle with me” playing the drums, “because I don’t know what else to do with her departure space she created.” [Andry’s] hands. ”
“I’d rather not remember how my life is still now without Portia’s voice,” she added.