A 20-year-old Baton Rouge man was sentenced to 17 years in prison Tuesday on an attempted first-degree murder charge and for taking part in a pattern of criminal street-gang activity that included the November 2010 shooting injury of a good Samaritan.
State District Judge Don Johnson ordered Leroy Molden Jr. to spend 12 years in prison on the attempted murder charge and five years on the gang-related charge. The judge ordered the terms to run consecutively.
A rarely used 1990 Louisiana law — which makes it a crime for three or more people, formally or informally, to engage in a “pattern of criminal gang activity’’ — required that the sentence Molden received on the gang-related charge run consecutively with the term he received on the attempted murder charge.
An East Baton Rouge Parish grand jury indicted Molden and two other Baton Rouge men, Jonathan Brit Murray and Leslie Harris, in May 2011 under the 1990 state law. District Attorney Hillar Moore III has said it was the first time the East Baton Rouge Parish District Attorney’s Office utilized the law.
Murray, 23, and Harris, 24, were sentenced Monday to 35 years and 30 years in prison, respectively. Murray previously pleaded guilty to three counts of armed robbery and one count of engaging in a pattern of criminal street-gang activity. Harris had pleaded guilty to 10 counts of armed robbery.
The gang-related charge to which Murray and Molden pleaded guilty included a Nov. 7, 2010, incident in which Charlie Cangelosi, of Baton Rouge, was shot in the stomach while trying to help a robbery victim outside the Stadium Square apartments on the edge of the LSU campus. The robbery victim, a pregnant woman, was being held up at gunpoint.
Prosecutor Will Morris maintains Murray was the triggerman.
The gang-related indictment of Murray, Harris and Molden alleged that the criminal activity occurred between Oct. 23, 2010, and Dec. 8, 2010, and included 15 armed robberies and two attempted first-degree murders.
Morris said the attempted first-degree murder charge that Molden pleaded guilty to occurred Nov. 19, 2010, outside a bar and grill on Bennington Avenue.