Police upgrade charges against second suspect in fatal shooting of 2 SU students

Police upgrade charges against second suspect in fatal shooting of 2 SU students

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Police say they have upgraded the charges against the man accused of causing a shooting that killed two Southern University students. Additionally, bond has been set at more than a half-million dollars for the second suspect arrested in the case by Judge Beau Higginbotham.

Officials say they have upgraded the charge for Ernest Felton, 22, from attempted to second-degree murder and obstruction of justice.

"Baton Rouge Police are still actively working the case," said Cpl. L'Jean McKneely. "There are additional individuals we are actively seeking to question about the case."

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The shooting happened on April 10, 2016 at the Cottages Apartments on Ben Hur Drive. Lashuntae Benton and Annette January were fatally wounded. A third person was injured but survived.

"This is a very tragic case with two completely innocent and beautiful victims losing their lives," said 19th JDC District Attorney Hillar Moore. "Their deaths were completely preventable had individuals simply acted with restraint and used decent good judgement."

Felton was arrested several days after the shooting. He was released from jail shortly after his arrest when he posted a $90,000 bond. However, he was re-arrested for allegedly violating the bond agreement and was placed back in the parish prison without bond.

RELATED: No bond set for suspect re-arrested in connection with shooting deaths of 2 Southern students

On June 2, police arrested a second suspect, 25-year-old Brandon Henderson. He is also charged with second-degree murder and obstruction of justice, even though investigators do not believe his gun fired the fatal shots. His bond has been set at $525,000.

"This is a complicated case given the number of witnesses and statements, multiple shooters, evidence left at the scene and evidence not recovered," Moore added. "I do not know the details of all of the statements or evidence collected thus far but given my knowledge of this case and now this arrest our plan is to meet with the detectives and my ADAs to review this case and prepare to present this case to the grand jury for their review of the facts and the law.

"Before any grand jury presentation I will meet with the families of these young ladies. They have suffered greatly and have been very concerned about making sure that justice is served for their children."

Anyone with information on this incident is urged to contact the Violent Crimes Unit at 389-4869 or Crime Stoppers at 344-7867.

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