Man was accused of helping brothers after second-line parade incident
A man once accused of helping two brothers hide from the law after they allegedly shot into a Mother’s Day second-line parade in May is no longer facing charges as an accessory to attempted murder and assault.
The Orleans Parish District Attorney’s Office has dismissed the charges against 20-year-old Justin Alexander.
Alexander had been part of a 39-count indictment that charged the two alleged gunmen, brothers Akein and Shawn Scott, along with four others who allegedly helped them to elude capture during the high-profile manhunt that stretched on for days after the May 12 mass shooting.
Christopher Bowman, spokesman for District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro, said the charges against Alexander were dismissed and the case was referred to federal law enforcement authorities.
But Alexander’s attorney, Craig Mordock, denied that the federal government has plans to charge Alexander in connection with the shooting.
“Justin Alexander committed no crime in association with the Mother’s Day shooting,” Mordock said. “As such, the district attorney’s office did the right thing and dismissed the charges.”
He said his client had merely been at the wrong place at the wrong time when he was found at a house in eastern New Orleans where the younger of the two brothers was caught hiding out.
Shawn Scott, 24, and Akein Scott, 20, reportedly were settling a score in an ongoing gang war when, according to police, they stood on opposite sides of the intersection at North Villere and Frenchmen streets as the second-line parade went by, and fired indiscriminately into the crowd.
Nineteen people were shot, including some children, and another was trampled in the chaos.
None died, though several suffered serious injuries.
Police said the Scott brothers were members of a 7th Ward street gang called the Frenchmen and Derbigny Boys, who had been engaged in a protracted turf war with a rival gang called the Deslonde Boys.
The Scott brothers managed to flee the shooting scene, though their mug shots soon accompanied headlines across the country.
Authorities offered a $10,000 bounty for their capture. Still, they eluded police for days.
Akein Scott was caught first, four days after the shooting, at a distant relative’s home on Kingsport Boulevard.
When police found him there, Alexander and three women — Bionca Hickerson, Nekia Youngblood and Brandy George — also were in the house.
All four “were aware of the fact that Akein Scott was wanted by law enforcement and knowingly provided him shelter and assistance,” police wrote in an arrest warrant. All were charged with being accessories to murder and aggravated assault.
Shawn Scott was found hours later in a woman’s apartment in a complex on Hayne Boulevard, three miles from the Kingsport Boulevard house where his brother was found. The woman who leased the apartment, 19-year-old Monique Pepe, also was charged as an accessory.
The Scott brothers are each facing 20 counts of attempted murder and 14 counts of aggravated assault with a firearm. They are being held on multimillion-dollar bonds, the highest in Orleans Parish history, and potentially facing decades in prison.
The five people charged as accessories were ordered held on $1 million bonds.
The four women remain in Orleans Parish Prison, all charged with being an accessory to attempted murder and accessory to aggravated assault with a firearm. Each count is punishable by up to five years in prison.
Alexander was released from jail once the charges against him were dropped last week. He remains free.
Alexander has not been charged in U.S. District Court, according to court records.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office would not say whether it intends to charge him or what he might be charged with, citing its policy against confirming active investigations.