A Jefferson Parish grand jury on Thursday charged an Avondale man with first-degree murder for allegedly gunning down a couple in their Kenner bedroom last year, effectively overriding a previous indictment on second-degree murder that was handed down last August.

While the new charge would allow District Attorney Paul Connick to seek the death penalty against 30-year-old Shaun Barnett, documents filed by prosecutors indicate he will not do so. 

Barnett is accused of shooting Dawn Scott and Raynell Kimbrough in their bedroom on April 4, 2016, while three children slept in the house. Police arrived at the couple's Idaho Avenue apartment to find their 2-week-old daughter lying unharmed beside her dead mother. Scott’s two boys, ages 10 and 2, were also in the home and were not injured.

Police say the 10-year-old boy heard gunshots just before 7 a.m. and went into the couple’s upstairs bedroom to find his mother covered in blood. She had been shot in the head and torso.

Kimbrough was on the floor next to the bed and had been shot in the head and the left flank.

The three children were placed in the custody of Scott’s mother. Barnett was arrested a month later.

Barnett was also charged with being a felon in possession of a weapon, stemming from two drug charges in 2013 and charges of attempted aggravated assault and criminal damage to property in 2012.

Barnett is being held in the Jefferson Parish Correctional Center without bail.

His case will be tried in 24th Judicial District Judge Lee Faulkner’s court in Gretna.

This is the fifth case in the last year in which Connick's office has charged a defendant with first-degree murder.

Follow Chad Calder on Twitter, @Chad_Calder.