A part-time Southern University student arrested over his alleged role in a deadly shooting outside a party early Sunday that left two 19-year-old women dead has been released on bail.
Ernest Bernard Felton, 22, was released on $90,000 bail Tuesday night from Parish Prison where he was booked by Baton Rouge police Sunday night on counts of attempted second-degree murder and illegal use of a weapon, prison officials said. A jailer said Felton obtained bail through a bondsman. Copies of the bond documents were not available Wednesday.
A Baton Rouge police report says Felton exchanged gunfire with 24-year-old Brandon Henderson, who had pulled up in a white Chevrolet sedan outside the party in the Cottages apartment complex near LSU after being involved in an earlier altercation.
A witness told detectives Felton was the aggressor in the incident, brandishing a handgun and shooting first, the report says.
Two witnesses interviewed by The Advocate Tuesday disputed that account, claiming the man in the car fired first.
The two young women, whom police say were innocent bystanders caught in the crossfire, were killed during the shooting. Lashuntae “Tae” Benton, a sophomore from Lake Charles, was pronounced dead at the scene of the shooting. Annette January, a freshman from Gary, Indiana, was taken to a hospital where she died shortly after arriving.
Henderson, who was wounded in the leg and torso, remained in the hospital Wednesday, said Sgt. Don Coppola Jr., a Baton Rouge police spokesman. Coppola did not identify Henderson by name, but he is named in the police report.
No one has been accused in the deaths of Benton and January. Coppola said police are awaiting the results of ballistics tests to determine which shooter fired the bullets that killed them.
Meanwhile, Coppola said, detectives are continuing to interview witnesses to the shooting. Felton is the only person to be arrested in connection with the shooting as of Wednesday.
Felton, a Miami, Florida, native, was recruited to play football at Southern and spent one season on the team as a defensive back in 2012.
Coppola declined to say whether Felton or Henderson were cooperating with police.