Accessory charge can go forward against woman in Mother’s Day shooting case, commissioner rules

A 20-year-old New Orleans woman still faces an accessory count in the Mother’s Day shooting along a second-line parade route that injured 20 in a spray of gunfire, after a magistrate commissioner found probable cause on Thursday for that charge and others.

In the meantime, a hearing into the attempted-murder charges against one of the brothers who allegedly fired away into the crowd, 24-year-old Shawn Scott, was postponed Thursday after deputies from another parish failed to bring him to court.

Monique Pepe, who is believed to be Shawn Scott’s girlfriend, was arrested May 17, a day after police and federal agents nabbed Scott as he left her apartment in the 9600 block of Hayne Boulevard in New Orleans East. Pepe is accused of letting Scott hide in the apartment despite a $10,000 bounty. Scott’s brother, Akein Scott, 19, allegedly hid out about three miles away, but was also seen leaving Pepe’s apartment, according to a police report.

Authorities also found numerous drugs in Pepe’s apartment. As she sat silently in orange jail scrubs on Thursday, her attorney, Jason Williams, argued that not only were they not her drugs, but that she wasn’t even aware that Shawn Scott had been hiding out in the apartment.

The two brothers allegedly fled to Texas for four days following the melee on the parade route, in which no one was killed but 19 were shot, and one was trampled. They allegedly stood on opposite sides of Frenchmen Street and rained bullets into the revelers during the May 12 parade. The brothers are suspected of being members of the Frenchmen and Derbigny Boys, a Seventh Ward-based gang that police say was enmeshed in an ongoing street feud.

As he left the apartment on May 16, police said, Shawn Scott dumped multiple packs of heroin on the ground, police said. One bag of drugs was found inside a bag with Pepe’s name on the outside.

NOPD Detective James O’Hern acknowledged that authorities never spotted Pepe at the apartment when police and agents with the ATF and the U.S. Marshal Service saw the brothers there.

“I understand there’s a lot of public outcry in this case, and folks want arrests made,” Williams said. But “there’s no information that she had contact with these guys after” the shooting spree.

Rather, Pepe’s return to the apartment itself suggests she was unaware that the Scotts — high-profile suspects at the time — were there while she was working.

“That’d be a good reason to spend a night at your momma’s house,” Williams said. He also maintained that Pepe didn’t know that police were after the Scotts.

Assistant District Attorney David Pipes, however, argued that it would have been nearly impossible for Pepe not to know that Shawn Scott was wanted, as the brothers’ images were all over the news and social media.

Magistrate Commissioner Jonathan Friedman found probable cause on the count of accessory to attempted second-degree murder, along with counts of possession with intent to distribute cocaine, possession of heroin and possession of drug paraphernalia. Friedman lowered Pepe’s bond on the drug counts, reducing her total bond from $62,500 to $51,000.

Friedman reset a hearing in Shawn Scott’s case to July 11. He is being held in another, unnamed parish, for what Friedman said was his own protection.

Akein Scott is due in court July 16. The brothers face 20 counts each of attempted second-degree murder, with bond for each set at $10 million — believed to be a record for Orleans Parish.