Man pleads guilty in Indy, Evansville killings


Evansville - A man has agreed to plead guilty to four killings during a crime spree more than three years ago that targeted drug and gambling houses in Indianapolis and Evansville.

In return, federal prosecutors will drop their demand that 28-year-old Jarvis Brown of Indianapolis face the death penalty.

If U.S. District Judge Richard Young accepts the plea agreement, Brown could be sentenced to five consecutive life sentences plus 20 years when he is sentenced June 30.

At the time Brown and two other men were indicted in 2006, prosecutors said that during an 18-day period Brown and two other men committed a series of robberies and attempted robberies of drug dealers and gambling houses in Indianapolis and Evansville that resulted in the deaths of four people and the wounding of eight others.

Numerous federal charges remain pending against the other men - Gabriel Jordan and Teddy Weems.

The three men were arrested in Indianapolis on Dec. 31, 2005, three days after authorities said Brown and Jordan shot accomplice Vanessa Hankins, 26, of Indianapolis, on a sidewalk on the near east side of the city. Authorities say the men killed Hankins to keep her from talking with police.

Evansville detectives had questioned Hankins the day before she was killed about the Dec. 26 shooting death of drug dealer Jahi Bell, 28, during a drug house robbery in that city. The indictment said Brown shot and killed Bell.

Hankins had been the getaway driver during several of the trio's alleged crimes in Indianapolis, including the Dec. 20 slaying of marijuana dealer Ricky Green, the indictment said.

Authorities say that on the day of their arrests, Brown and Jordan shot the fourth slaying victim, David Twitty, and robbed him of cash. The shooting occurred at a northside Indianapolis business where the pair had planned to steal marijuana from an acquaintance of Twitty.

All three men, armed with an assault rifle, shotguns and various handguns, also robbed various gambling houses in Indianapolis, prosecutors said.

Under terms of the agreement, Brown would plead guilty to four counts of murder, robbery interfering with interstate commerce or a drug trafficking scheme, conspiracy to interfere with commerce by threats or violence, firearms and drug charges.

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