A Baton Rouge man accused of instigating an April 2016 confrontation that preceded the fatal shooting of two female Southern University students near LSU has been given a Dec. 11 trial date.

Brandon Henderson, 26, is charged with aggravated assault with a firearm, which carries a possible penalty of up to 10 years in prison. He is accused of assaulting Ernest Bernard Felton, 23, with a gun.

Felton is the man police have alleged shot freshman Annette January and sophomore Lashuntae Benton, both 19, outside a party at an upscale apartment complex, The Cottages, on Ben Hur Road on April 10, 2016.

Police have alleged that Felton fatally shot January and Benton, two innocent bystanders, while returning fire at Henderson.

The same East Baton Rouge Parish grand jury that indicted Henderson on the firearm count in September but cleared him of two counts of second-degree murder, also took no action against Felton on two counts each of second-degree murder and illegal use of a weapon, and one count each of attempted second-degree murder and obstruction of justice.

The grand jury's decision to pretermit, which means the panel took no action on the charges, left open the possibility that prosecutors could present their case again if more evidence becomes available.

East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore III said Thursday that nothing has changed in the case since the grand jury chose to neither indict nor clear Felton. Moore said previously that the case is a complicated one with differing accounts from numerous young witnesses.

Felton spent more than five months at East Baton Rouge Parish Prison before his September release.

Henderson has admitted firing his gun into the air. He told police his brother, Anthony Henderson, had been involved in a fistfight with a group of people outside The Cottages the morning of the shooting. Brandon Henderson drove to the complex to meet up with his brother, and later drove up to a crowd with his brother inside the car, a police report states.

Neal Wilkinson, who represents Brandon Henderson, has said the angry crowd surrounded the car, so Brandon Henderson fired a shot into the air in an attempt to extricate himself from the volatile situation.

Brandon Henderson then drove around a curve and into a dead end in the parking lot, and as turned around and attempted to leave, Felton fired at the car, striking January and Benton, the police report says. Brandon Henderson also was wounded.

Wilkinson, who declined Thursday to elaborate on the case, has insisted that Brandon Henderson is not responsible for instigating the shooting deaths of the Southern students.

State District Judge Beau Higginbotham is presiding over Henderson's case.

One of Felton's attorneys, Tommy Damico, has said previously that Felton acted in self-defense and "did the right thing to protect himself and other people."

Brandon Henderson attended Southern from 2009 to 2014 but did not graduate. Felton, a Miami native who played on Southern's football team for one season, was a part-time student at the university at the time of the shooting.

Benton was a Lake Charles native. January was from Gary, Indiana.

Follow Joe Gyan Jr. on Twitter, @JoeGyanJr.