The father of singer-actor Harry Connick Jr. has died in Louisiana, according to the Associated Press.
Harry Connick Sr. passed away peacefully in his New Orleans home Thursday, the AP reported, although his cause of death was not disclosed. He was surrounded by his wife, Londa and two children, daughter Suzanna and his famous son Harry.
Connick Sr. was the New Orleans District Attorney for three decades, winning his first election in 1973 and unseating incumbent prosecutor Jim Garrison. He stayed as the city's D.A. for many years, getting reelected four times by developing biracial support among the city's politically powerful African American base.
After his retirement in 2003, Connick Sr. faced harsh criticism for allegedly hiding evidence that could have tipped the scales in favor of several defendants, who later had their convictions overturned.
In one case, John Thompson was exonerated for a murder he did not commit after 14 years on Louisiana's Death Row.
Thompson filed a lawsuit in state court against the New Orleans D.A.'s Office, accusing Connick Sr. of withholding key evidence that would have found him innocent at trial. The judge awarded Thompson $14 million, but the U.S. Supreme Court later overturned the decision by a 5-4 vote.
In 2014, Connick Sr. again came under scrutiny when a judge tossed out the 1990 murder conviction of Reginald Adams.
Adams was released from prison after serving 34 years. His attorneys proved that Connick Sr. kept vital evidence under wraps during his trial.
Later, Adams sued the D.A.'s Office, agreeing to a $1.25 million settlement.
Over the years, Connick Sr. kept silent about his controversial reign as D.A., but he finally defended his legacy in a 2012 interview with The Times-Picayune.