Kendall Payne.jpg

On Tuesday, a St. Landry Parish grand jury indicted Kendall Randell Payne, 28, on a count of second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of Steven James Andrus, Jr. on May 21. 

Two Opelousas men were indicted on murder charges Tuesday in separate fatal shootings.

A St. Landry Parish grand jury indicted Kendall Randell Payne, 28, on a count of second-degree murder in the death of Steven James Andrus, Jr. on May 21 and John Deandre Leblanc, 30, on a count of second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of David Scott Thomas on June 18, the release from St. Landry District Attorney Earl Taylor said.

A second-degree murder conviction carries a mandatory life sentence without benefit of probation, parole or suspension of sentence. 

Payne is accused of shooting Andrus, 22, after a suspected dispute, KATC reported. Andrus was found suffering from gunshot wounds on Phillip Street in Opelousas around 4:30 a.m. and died at Opelousas General Hospital, Major Mark Guidry with the Opelousas Police Department said.

Leblanc is accused of shooting at Thomas and several other people outside a home near the intersection of Cherokee Street and Natchez Boulevard around 11:30 p.m. June 12. Thomas was taken to the hospital, where he succumbed to his injuries nearly a week later, police said.

Steven A. Roberts, of Opelousas, was also booked on a count of second-degree murder and seven counts of attempted second-degree murder in the case.

An argument at a motel in the 1100 block of North Main Street preceded the shooting, police said.

Email Katie Gagliano at kgagliano@theadvocate.com