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A 15-year-old boy and a Baton Rouge man were indicted Thursday on a murder count in a fatal November shooting on Aster Street.

The teenager, Johnny Brown, and Dereck Hayes, 26, are accused of killing Brian Dawson, 54, during a nighttime robbery at 1001 Aster. 

When police arrived on scene in response to reports of a shooting that night, officers found Dawson dead in a breezeway with a gunshot wound to the chest, according to a police report. There were signs of a struggle under the breezeway, police said.

Detectives were able to quickly solve the case after hearing from witnesses, who described hearing someone demanding money, followed by two gunshots, and then seeing two male suspects in gray hoodies leave the scene. The witnesses also provided police with the license plate number of the fleeing vehicle, according to the report. 

Less than an hour after the shooting other BRPD officers spotted the vehicle driving on Plank Road near Huron Street and conducted a traffic stop, police said. The driver and juvenile passenger were both wearing gray hoodies, according to the report. 

Hayes denied being at the location on Aster Street earlier that night, but acknowledged he was the only person with access to the vehicle, which he had borrowed from a friend, the report says. Police said Hayes had prior armed robbery charges.

The police report does not indicate who is accused of pulling the trigger.

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Brown, of the 11000 block of Queens Drive, and Hayes, of the 900 block of South 12th Street, were charged Thursday with second-degree murder in the Nov. 20 slaying.

The indictment signifies that the teenager is being tried as an adult. 

Hayes faces a mandatory term of life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted as charged. Brown could receive the same sentence if found guilty of second-degree murder.

The killing on Aster Street was one of five on Nov. 20. Others included the deaths of two people at a cell phone store on South Sherwood Forest Boulevard, one at a home invasion on Eleanor Drive and one at a motel on Airline Highway near the North Foster Drive intersection.

The Aster Street case has been assigned to state District Judge Tiffany Foxworth.


Email Joe Gyan Jr. at jgyan@theadvocate.com.