By KEVIN McGILL / Associated Press
NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- The two brothers facing attempted murder and assault charges stemming from a shooting spree at a Mother's Day parade, and three women charged as accessories, pleaded not guilty Wednesday in a New Orleans courtroom.
Shawn Scott, 24, and Akein Scott, 19, stood before Judge Robin Pittman as she read a 39-count indictment that includes 20 counts of attempted second-degree murder for each of them. Nearby were the three women charged as accessories: Bionca Hickerson, 22; Nekia Youngblood, 32; and Monique Pepe, 20.
Two others who face accessory charges are scheduled for arraignment next week.
In addition to the 20 counts of attempted murder, each of the Scott brothers is charged with more than a dozen aggravated assault counts in the indictment handed up last week. Shawn Scott also faces charges involving cocaine and heroin possession spelled out in the indictment. Bail on the various charges totals $18 million for Akein Scott; $17.5 million for Shawn Scott; $1.5 million for Pepe and $1 million for the others.
Attorneys leaving the courtroom declined comment. The Scott brothers are being represented by public defenders.
Their arrests came days after gunfire brought an abrupt end to a neighborhood "second-line" parade -- where watchers often join in behind the participants to form a second line of marchers. It was attended by hundreds in the 7th Ward neighborhood on May 12, which was Mother's Day.
A security video captured one person, identified by police later as Akein Scott, appearing to fire toward the parade and fleeing as members of the crowd fell or ran.
The club that organizes the Mother's Day parade, the Original Big 7 Social Aid and Pleasure Club, staged a "re-do" of the parade on June 1, without incident.