Change of plea hearing for suspects in 2013 parade shootings

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NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Two brothers charged in a 2013 shooting spree that left 20 people hurt during a neighborhood Mother's Day parade are set for a change-of-plea hearing in federal court.

Shawn and Akein Scott are charged in a wide-ranging federal racketeering indictment. The Mother's Day shooting spree is one element of that indictment, which also alleges drug dealing, weapons violations and deadly violence as part of gang activity dating back to 2001.

Nine people were originally indicted in the case. After plea deals the number of defendants is down to four. Three of them — Shawn Scott, Akein Scott and co-defendant Stanley Scott — are scheduled in online court records for a change of plea hearing Wednesday. They originally entered not-guilty pleas.

Defense attorneys did not return calls for comment.

Nobody was killed in the May 2013 shootings. But 19 people, including two children, were struck by bullets and another person was injured in the resulting rush to get away from the gunfire that interrupted the traditional neighborhood "second-line" parade in New Orleans' 7th Ward.

Police named Shawn Scott and Akein Scott as suspects soon after the shooting. They were arrested within days. State charges eventually were dropped in favor of the federal prosecution. Shawn Scott was 25 at the time of the indictment; Akein, 20.

The indictment does not spell out the family relationship of two other defendants in the case: Stanley Scott, who is also set for Wednesday's change-of-plea hearing, and Travis Scott, who would be the only defendant left if charges against the other three are indeed resolved Wednesday. Travis Scott, 29 at the time of the March 2014 indictment, is described as a leader of the gang.

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