A convicted violent offender pleaded guilty Wednesday in Baton Rouge federal court to illegal possession of a firearm, an offense that could put him in prison for 10 years.
Kenny W. Kyser Jr. was charged five years ago in state District Court with two counts of second-degree murder for the February 2006 shooting deaths of a 61-year-old man and his teenage son. Kyser was 15 at the time of the shootings.
Kyser, now 21, pleaded no contest in November 2009 to two reduced charges of criminally negligent homicide in the deaths of Hillery Soileau and his 17-year-old son, Brandon Soileau. The shootings took place at the family’s Greenwell Street home.
A no-contest plea has the same effect as a guilty plea in criminal court, but it cannot be used as an admission of guilt in any civil suit.
Kyser was sentenced to 10 years in state prison for the homicides. But credit for time served prior to the conviction, and good-time credits afterwards, permitted his release from prison before Jan. 18.
A warrant for Kyser’s arrest was issued on Feb. 28 after Baton Rouge police officers spotted Kyser with a handgun in his waistband, Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Lane Ewing Jr. told U.S. District Judge Brian A. Jackson.
Ewing said Kyser ran from those officers and threw the .380-caliber pistol over a fence.
The prosecutor told Jackson that the gun immediately was retrieved by officers.
Jackson asked Kyser whether he committed that crime, and Kyser replied that he had.
U.S. Attorney Donald J. Cazayoux Jr. and 19th Judicial District Attorney Hillar C. Moore III said in April that local, state and federal investigators are targeting violent offenders for arrest if they are seen with firearms.
Those investigators are assigned to the Metro Gun Task Force and Violent Crimes Unit, Moore and Cazayoux said.
The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives oversees the task force.
Kyser remains in federal custody.
Jackson said he would not schedule a sentencing hearing until after he receives a pre-sentence report from investigators familiar with Kyser’s background.