Former Boxer Fouad Zeton Sr. Sees Jason Williams Win as Victory for Murdered Son 

When former boxer and Evander Holyfield’s one-time sparring partner Fouad Zeton Sr.’s son was murdered, he placed the blame at least partially on Keva Landrum. Zeton, Sr. took issue with the way the then Criminal Court Judge Keva Landrum presided of the prosecution of James Nero, the 21-year-old man who was charged with the murder of Fouad Zeton Jr.

Nero was eventually acquitted after Judge Landrum ordered the prosecution to withhold compelling video footage that the Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office believed would have resulted in a guilty verdict for James Nero and justice for Fouad Zeton Jr. Then Criminal Court Judge Keva Landrum deemed the video footage showing Nero’s history of fighting – which prosecutors argued clearly demonstrated he could have easily defended himself against an unarmed Zeton Jr. – too prejudicial.


Fouad Zeton Sr. grieves for his son

In October 2020, Big Easy Magazine published an investigative piece about Keva Landrum’s history of unethical misconduct as a prosecutor and judge. We covered the details of the trial and the outcome in depth. 

Over the course of the campaign, Zeton campaigned hard against Keva Landrum, who he believes is responsible for James Nero’s innocent verdict. James Nero was acquitted by a Grand Jury based on Louisiana’s ‘Stand Your Ground’ law, and Zeton believes the decision of Landrum to withhold key evidence in this race is the reason Nero was acquitted. “The evidence would have shown that my son was no threat to the murderer, was unarmed and was shot and killed in cold blood.”

Zeton said he feels that Keva Landrum’s interference in the race was due to racial discrimination because of his Syrian heritage. Although there was no evidence to prove racial discrimination played a role, Fox News did obtain text messages that Judge Landrum inadvertently sent ex parte during the trial to the prosecutor, Jason Napoli. 

Zeton said he believes he had a significant impact on the District Attorney’s race.  He said his emotional ads with him visiting his son’s cemetery had a substantial emotional impact on the race. When asked to quantify his influence, Zeton said he feels the compelling story about the gut-wrenching injustice against his son by Judge Keva Landrum was able to help win over voters who once viewed Landrum in a more favorable light.

Fouad Zeton Sr. made a Facebook video encouraging people to vote for Jason Williams and to reject Keva Landrum
Fouad Zeton Sr. made a Facebook video encouraging people to vote for Jason Williams and to reject Keva Landrum

Zeton said he supported Arthur Hunter in the primary but proudly supported Jason Williams in the runoff. “Arthur was a great candidate, but many of Keva’s friends who are also close friends with me misled me on Jason.” Once he discovered the misunderstanding, and once the race was narrowed to Jason Williams and Keva Landrum in the runoff, Zeton threw his full unwavering support behind Williams. 

When asked about the mayor and other politicians’ endorsements of Keva Landrum, Zeton emphasized that he was friends with everyone, and respects all religions, nationalities, political ideologies, and races. “I love and respect the mayor. I support her and continue to support her. I didn’t agree with her endorsement, but I understand it’s politics,” Zeton said. 

Zeton believes Jason Williams will make a great District Attorney. “I think he will be a great District Attorney for the City of New Orleans. I want him to be tough on criminals like the murderer who murdered my son, and I feel that he will be an ethical DA, unlike the criminal Keva Landrum.”

Zeton feels that the fight for justice does not end with Williams’ victory. He has filed a formal judicial complaint with the Bar Association over Judge Landrum’s inappropriate communications with the prosecuting attorney. The complaint alleges that Landrum’s personal messages that were intended for the defense attorney raised questions about Judge Landrum’s ability to preside fairly in an unbiased manner over his son’s trial. Zeton hopes the complaint will result in Landrum being disciplined.

“My poor baby was deprived of the opportunity to defend himself like the criminal who murdered him. He was unable to take the witness stand and the judge allowed him (James Nero) to tell countless lies,” Zeton said.

In the November 2020 primary, Keva Landrum garnered 35 percent of the vote to Jason Williams’ 29 percent. After the primary, many felt the race for DA was Keva’s to lose.  Against all odds, and despite Mayor Latoya Cantrell and the mainstream media’s endorsement of Keva Landrum, Councilman Jason Williams ended up defeating Keva Landrum by a margin of 16 percentage points with Williams garnering 58 percent of the vote to Landrum’s 42 percent.

Former Boxer Fouad Zeton Sr. with Big Easy Magazine publisher Scott Ploof.
Former boxer Fouad Zeton and former heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield

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