A Baton Rouge man who police claim instigated a confrontation that led to the April fatal shooting of two female Southern University students denies that allegation and is sorry the young women were killed, his attorney said Friday.

The comments from Brandon Henderson's lawyer came moments after a Baton Rouge state judge slashed Henderson's bail from $525,000 to $50,000. The lawyer, Neal Wilkinson, said he expected Henderson to be released soon from East Baton Rouge Parish Prison, where he has been held for more than four months. 

Henderson, 25, initially was booked on two counts of second-degree murder and a count of illegal use of a weapon in the April 10 slaying of 19-year-olds Annette January and Lashuntae Benton.

But an East Baton Rouge Parish grand jury on Wednesday cleared him on the murder counts while charging him with aggravated assault with a firearm. Henderson has admitted firing his gun into the air on that early April 10 morning.  

Henderson, who pleaded not guilty to that charge Friday, is accused of assaulting Ernest Bernard Felton with a firearm.

Police have alleged that Felton fatally shot January and Benton, two innocent bystanders outside The Cottages apartment complex on Ben Hur Road, while returning fire at Henderson.

The grand jury, however, took no action Wednesday against Felton, who is accused of two second-degree murder counts, two counts of illegal use of weapons and single counts of attempted second-degree murder and obstruction of justice.

Wilkinson said Henderson has expressed to him his feelings about what happened that tragic morning.

"He is very contrite that anything happened," Wilkinson said outside District Judge Beau Higginbotham's courtroom. "He's sorry that any of this happened."

Higginbotham noted Friday that Henderson had no prior criminal history.

Brandon Henderson told police his brother, Anthony, 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, later driving up to a crowd with his brother inside the car, according to a police report.

"He's got an angry crowd around the car that has already beat up his brother," Wilkinson said, adding that Brandon Henderson was merely trying to extricate himself from the situation by firing his gun.

"Was it a good decision? I don't know," Wilkinson said. "He certainly had a right to defend himself."

Anthony Henderson was extradited last week to Baton Rouge from Texas following an arrest earlier this month on unrelated drug charges. He was wanted for questioning in the double-murder.

Wilkinson insisted Friday that Brandon Henderson is not responsible for instigating the shooting deaths of the Southern students.

After Henderson fired his gun, he drove around a curve and into a dead end in the parking lot, and as he turned around and tried to leave, Felton fired at the car, striking January, a freshman, and Benton, a sophomore, the police report states.

Felton, 23, was released from Parish Prison on Wednesday night. He was a part-time student at Southern at the time of the shooting, and was suspended the following day.

Henderson attended the university from 2009 to 2014 but did not graduate.

Once he is released on bail, Higginbotham said Henderson will be under house arrest and on bond supervision, and must comply with a 6 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew.

His next court date is in December.

Follow Joe Gyan Jr. on Twitter, @JoeGyanJr.