An Orleans Parish grand jury handed down a raft of indictments in four separate homicides on Thursday, including the June killing of Brayanta Ketchens in Gert Town.
Jonathan Stone, Michael Meyers, Jamal Horton and Raymond “Boo” Nelson were charged with second-degree murder in Ketchens' death. 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 bathtub.
All four men indicted in the case are being held in lieu of $1 million bail each.
Meanwhile, the grand jury handed down charges in three other cases.
Lance Jones was charged with second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of Wayne Jones, 25, near Almonaster Avenue and North Prieur Street, in St. Roch, on June 19. There is no indication the two men were 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 and is being held in lieu of $1.5 million bail.
Elliot M. Peters, Keaun Jones and Malaiah Marcelin were indicted on counts of second-degree murder and conspiracy to commit second-degree murder in the June 13 killing of Damian “D” Crockem Jr., 17. Crockem was shot to death near a parking lot in the 9300 block of Chef Menteur Highway, in New Orleans East.
Peters and Keaun Jones were also charged with obstruction of justice by tampering with or removing evidence in the case.
Criminal District Court Judge Keva Landrum-Johnson set bail for Peters and Jones 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 North Rendon Street, in Mid-City, by people driving by in a vehicle.
Police said Hitchens had been fighting with Smothers and Alexander at the House of Blues in the French Quarter 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.
The judge set Alexander's bail at $1.5 million and Smothers' bail at $1.75 million.
Meanwhile, Alexander pleaded guilty at 24th Judicial District Court in Gretna on Thursday 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.