5 men indicted in murders of 2 NOLA brothers, associate

5 men indicted in murders of 2 NOLA brothers, associate
Michael Angeletta, 35 and pictured above, was arrested Wednesday by New Orleans police. (Source: District Attorney's Office)

NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) -Five men were indicted in the murders of two New Orleans brothers and their associates, according to the district attorney’s office.

District Attorney Leo Cannizzaro said he secured the murder indictments on Thursday.

Michael Angeletta was arrested Wednesday by New Orleans police. The indictment handed up Thursday by an Orleans Parish grand jury charges Angeletta along with Brandon Alexander, William Isiah Alexander and Julius Hankton each with two counts of second-degree murder in connection with the fatal shootings of 25-year-old Deron Hitchens and 29-year-old Kentrell Fields on Fat Tuesday of 2014.

The victims were found shot to death in a parking lot at 1380 Port of New Orleans, outside the location of a concert at the Mardi Gras World events venue, according to the report.

Brandon Alexander, 35, additionally is charged with first-degree murder and obstruction of justice in the fatal shooting of Deron's 31-year-old brother Dwayne Hitchens Jr. just over three years later on May 15, 2017. Kendrick Smothers, 31, is charged with second-degree murder, obstruction of justice and being a felon in possession of a firearm in that same slaying.

According to NOPD homicide detectives, the older Hitchens sibling was found dead in the 200 block of North Rendon Street around 6 p.m. about 16 hours after he and Brandon Alexander fought at the House of Blues nightclub in the French Quarter.

Smothers and Brandon Alexander previously had been indicted for the murder of Dwayne Hitchens Jr.. But after new information was developed by investigators, Thursday’s superseding indictment was approved by the grand jury, linking Brandon Alexander to both killings and charging his three accomplices in the previously unsolved murders of Deron Hitchens and Fields, according to Cannizzaro.

The new indictment includes additional charges in the 2014 double-fatal shooting:

Angeletta is charged with obstruction of justice and being a felon in possession of a firearm

William Isiah Alexander and Hankton each are charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm.

Ad hoc Criminal District Judge Dennis Waldron set bonds of $1 million for each of the murder charges and $50,000 on each obstruction of justice and felon with a firearm count.

As the indictment was read, Alexander was being held in pretrial detention at the Tensas Parish Detention Center. Hankton and Smothers are serving sentences for unrelated convictions in Louisiana Department of Corrections custody. Angeletta is being held in the Orleans Justice Center jail, while William Isiah Alexander remained at large.

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