Less than a month after a Baton Rouge man pleaded guilty in the case and agreed to cooperate with authorities, two more men — including the alleged shooter — were indicted Thursday in the 2007 slaying of two LSU graduate students from India.
An East Baton Rouge Parish grand jury charged Casey Jermaine Gathers, 23, and Michael Jermaine Lewis, 22, with two counts of second-degree murder each in the killing of Kiran Kumar Allam and Chandrasekhar Reddy Komma on Dec. 13, 2007.
Lewis and another man, Melichi Corbin, 22, also were indicted Thursday on second-degree murder and other charges in the Feb. 13 shooting death of 14-year-old Christopher Williams.
Williams was buying candy from a woman on St. Gerard Avenue when he was shot. A 17-year-old boy also was wounded in the incident.
“Obviously it’s real troublesome, someone his age,’’ District Attorney Hillar Moore III said of Lewis. “He’s someone we need to pay attention to.’’
Lewis, Gathers and Devin Jamell Parker, 22, were booked in May 2008 in the LSU graduate student killings, but only Parker was indicted four months later. Gathers and Lewis were released from Parish Prison shortly thereafter.
State District Judge Richard Anderson signed arrest warrants Thursday for Lewis, who already is jailed in the Feb. 13 shooting, and Gathers, who was not in custody when the indictment was returned.
“He wasn’t guilty before (when the grand jury did not indict him in 2008) and he’s not guilty now,’’ Gathers’ attorney, James Manasseh, said.
Parker, who was charged with two counts of second-degree murder in the LSU case, pleaded guilty June 27 to armed robbery and accessory charges in the case. He is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 27.
Parker told authorities in videotaped statements that he was with Gathers and Lewis when they forced Allam, 33, and Komma, 31, into Allam’s Edward Gay apartment before the men were fatally shot. The statements have been played in court.
Parker identified Gathers, 6420 Buckeye Drive, as the triggerman and also told police that he and Lewis, 6756 Myrtlewood Drive, were involved in the crime, an arrest warrant says.
Parker admitted in his statements to authorities that he was inside the Edward Gay apartment and watched one of the students cry out for help moments before he was shot while trying to flee.
Parker said in the statements that he ran from the apartment with that student’s wallet and a Nextel cellphone he found in the apartment, and was outside when the second student was shot.
Parker said he threw the wallet away but kept the $40 it contained, according to his statements.
Parker accused Lewis of taking the second man’s wallet, which contained $80. He said in the statements that the money was split.
Allam’s pregnant wife found the men’s bodies inside the apartment, officials investigating the case have said. Both men were shot in the head and one was bound.
Lewis’ and Gathers’ case has been assigned to state District Judge Chip Moore.
Lewis’ and Corbin’s case has been assigned to state District Judge Bonnie Jackson.
Lewis and Corbin, 8925 Corlette Drive, each are charged in their case with one count of second-degree murder, six counts of attempted second-degree murder, and one count each of attempted armed robbery and obstruction of justice.
A second-degree murder conviction carries an automatic sentence of life in prison.