ANCHORAGE — A grand jury Thursday indicted five people accused of engaging in a gunbattle between rival gangs at a house party in which a teenage bystander was killed.
The five men are charged with second-degree murder in the death of 17-year-old Desirae Douglas, one of those attending the large party in a residential neighborhood in east Anchorage in September 2009.
The five are accused of pulling weapons and firing after a fight broke out at the party attended by 20 to 30 young people. Four were to be arraigned Thursday afternoon.
The gunbattle broke out in the front yard where the party was being held, police said.
The young woman got caught in the crossfire.
“Their collective activity caused the death of Desirae Douglas,” said Josh Kindred, a state assistant district attorney.
Kindred said the second-degree murder charges reflect the extreme indifference the shooters showed to others attending the party and people living nearby.
Prosecutors say those indicted include 19-year-old Parrish Harris, who also recently was indicted as an accomplice in another killing, that of 19-year-old Devante Jordan in March.
The Anchorage District Attorney’s Office says two others were indicted Thursday in Jordan’s death. One of them, 17-year-old Dorian Topps, also has been indicted in a home invasion robbery and shooting in February.
Harris was being held on cash bail of $750,000 and a court-approved third party custodian.
Three of the others indicted in the party shooting are already in jail for drug offenses. They are: 21-year-old Shearn Joshua, 20-year-old Paul Baldwin and 20-year-old Eon Owens.
The fifth man indicted in the party shooting is 25-year-old Julio Bautista. He also is in custody.
All four are being held on $500,000 cash bail.
Another man, Dwaylon Kenzell Woodruff, 21, has been indicted for tampering with evidence for allegedly disposing of shell casings at the party. Woodruff, who is not in custody, had bail set at $10,000 cash and a third party custodian.
Kindred said the investigation took a long time because in cases like this it is often difficult to get anyone to come forward with information.
“This isn’t always as simple as knocking on doors and asking people what happened,” he said.
A message left for Owens’ public defender was not immediately returned. It was not immediately clear if the others indicted had attorneys yet.