Indictments leveled, record bonds set in Mother’s Day shooting spree

Bail set at $17 million

The two brothers accused of firing into a Mother’s Day second-line parade, hitting 19 people, were indicted by a state grand jury on Thursday — not just for the people they gunned down, but for more than a dozen who escaped the spray of bullets uninjured.

Akein “Keemy” Scott, who turns 20 on Sunday, and Shawn Scott, 24, face record-setting bonds for Orleans Parish: $17 million for Akein Scott and $17.55 million for Shawn Scott.

Criminal District Court Judge Karen Herman set the bonds Thursday afternoon after reading off the 39-count indictment, which also includes counts against five others accused of trying to help keep the brothers from the law after the May 12 shooting spree at Frenchmen and North Villere streets that drew national attention for its scattershot brazenness.

According to police, the brothers stood on opposite sides of the street and unleashed a barrage of bullets on the partying crowd.

Police have said the Scotts are members of the Frenchmen and Derbigny Boys gang, or F and D. According to media reports, they were gunning for Leonard Epps, an alleged associate of the Deslonde Boys, another gang based in the Lower 9th Ward.

Epps was among those named as a victim of gunfire in the indictment, which accuses the Scott brothers of 20 counts of attempted second-degree murder and 14 counts of aggravated assault with a firearm in the May 12 incident. The latter charges relate to second-liners who escaped harm.

According to Orleans Parish District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office, five of the victims, whether hit or missed, were children under 12 years old — a point prosecutors made in seeking the high bail amount for the Scotts.

Two of the 19 shooting victims were 10-year-olds. A 20th victim was trampled in the chaotic aftermath. None were killed.

In addition to the 34 counts against the brothers for attempted murder or aggravated assault, the grand jury indicted Nakia Youngblood, 32, Bionca Hickerson, 22, Justin Alexander, 19, Brandy George, 18, and Monique Pepe, 20, on one count each of accessory after the fact to murder and to aggravated assault.

Pepe is accused of letting Shawn Scott hide in her Haynes Boulevard apartment days after the shooting spree, despite a well publicized, $10,000 bounty.

Akein Scott was arrested at a house on Kingsport Boulevard in New Orleans East, in the Little Woods neighborhood. The other four alleged accessories also were arrested there. Youngblood and Hickerson are sisters.

The indictment also includes counts against Shawn Scott and Pepe for possession of heroin and possession with intent to sell cocaine, as well as possession of drug scales and plastic baggies.

Herman set bond for Pepe, Shawn Scott’s girlfriend, at $1.55 million. The other four alleged accessories face $1 million bonds.

The judge issued warrants for their arrests.

Only the Scott brothers appeared to be in jail as of late Thursday, according to online jail records.

On Wednesday, Cannizzaro’s office dropped a previous gun charge against Akein Scott stemming from an arrest two months before the shooting spree.

The move will reroute the Mother’s Day shooting case away from Judge Arthur Hunter, whom Cannizzaro has long criticized in various cases.

Cannizzaro spokesman Christopher Bowman noted that while police and the district attorney’s office managed to track down others in the second line who were uninjured, there were more in the parade crowd.

He urged others who may have been in the line of fire to call the District Attorney’s Office at (504) 822-2414.