An Orleans Parish grand jury handed down a raft of indictments in four separate homicides on Thursday, including the shocking June killing of Brayanta Ketchens in Gert Town.
Jonathan Stone, Michael Meyers, Jamal Horton and Raymond “Boo” Nelson were charged with the second-degree murder of Ketchens. Authorities allege she was shot in revenge for an earlier scuffle with Stone’s brother, Dalton Stone, who was shot during the fight.
Surveillance camera footage caught at least five men outside Ketchens’ home shortly before she was killed. The video shows at least one man kicking in her door while others swarm up an alley near the house.
“They in my house! Call the police!” Ketchens texted her boyfriend just before she died. Police found her shot to death in a bath tub.
All four men indicted in the case are in custody in lieu of $1 million bail.
Meanwhile, the grand jury also handed down charges in three separate cases.
Lance Jones was charged with second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of Wayne Jones, 25, near the intersection of Almonaster Avenue and N. Prieur Street in St. Roch on June 19. There is no indication the two men are related.
Police said surveillance video suggested that a car Lance Jones was test-driving was in the area at the time of the shooting. He has been in custody since the week of the shooting.
Lance Jones is being held in lieu of $1.5 million bail.
Elliot M. Peters, Keaun Jones and Malaiah Marcelin were indicted on conspiracy to commit second-degree murder and second-degree murder in the June 13 killing of Damian “D” Crockem Jr., 17.
Police said Crockem was shot to death near a parking lot in the 9300 block of Chef Menteur Highway in New Orleans East.
Peters and Jones were also charged with obstruction of justice by tampering with and or removing evidence in the case.
Criminal District Court Judge Keva Landrum-Johnson set bail for Peters and Joens at $2 million apiece. Marcelin's bail was set at $1.5 million.
The grand jury also charged Brandon H. Alexander, also known as Stax Bee, and Kendrick Smothers with second-degree murder and obstruction of justice in the May 15 killing of Dwayne Hitchens Jr., 31.
Authorities said Hitchens was gunned down in the 200 block of N. Rendon Street in Mid-City by at least two people driving by in a vehicle.
Court records released say Hitchens was fighting with Smothers Alexander at the House of Blues in the French Quarter just hours before the killing.
Smothers is also charged with illegal possession of a firearm by a felon due to a prior conviction for heroin possession.
At 24th Judicial District Court in Gretna on Thursday, Alexander pleaded guilty to a charge of illegally possessing and intending to sell the painkiller tramadol. He received a five-year prison sentence, court records show. The case follows a 2015 arrest.
The judge set Alexander's bail at $1.5 million and Smothers' bail at $1.75 million.