Grand jury clears teen in January fatal shooting

An East Baton Rouge Parish grand jury declined to indict an 18-year-old Baker man Wednesday in the Jan. 19 shooting death of another man in Baker.

Kenard Maurice Gaines, 2135 Richmond St., was booked in January on a second-degree murder charge in the killing of Kortlon Trevon Johnson, 19.

“This was a killing that could have been avoided. Bringing weapons to arguments generally do not end well. Conflicts can be resolved without weapons,” East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney Hillar Moore III said Thursday.

Gaines was 17 at the time of the shooting in the 1300 block of Daniels Street.

According to interviews with witnesses, Johnson asked Gaines to step outside during a get-together at the home. Johnson and Gaines got into an argument and Gaines shot Johnson, Baker Police Chief Mike Knaps has said.

Gaines ran from the scene while Johnson stumbled back to the southeast corner of the home, fell to the ground and died.