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Eight men indicted in separate Anchorage killings

Seventeen-year-old Desirae Douglas was killed when she was caught in the crossfire during an East Anchorage gang-related gunfight Sept. 20, 2009, while attending a party with friends. BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily NewsSeventeen-year-old Desirae Douglas was killed when she was caught in the crossfire during an East Anchorage gang-related gunfight Sept. 20, 2009, while attending a party with friends. BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News

From Casey Grove and Kyle Hopkins in Anchorage --

The Anchorage District Attorney’s Office today announced a slew of indictments in two Anchorage killings, including the high-profile, unsolved murder of a 17-year-old girl caught in a gun battle two years ago.

Here's a quick summary of the overlapping cases:

Desirae Douglas shooting (Sept. 9, 2009)
Five Anchorage men face murder charges for the 2009 shooting of 17-year-old Desirae Douglas, an innocent bystander at an East Anchorage party that erupted into a gunfight between so-called gang members.

The case frustrated the public -- how could someone get away with shooting a teenage girl in front of a crowd of people? -- and police, who initially said witnesses refused to talk.

Those now indicted for Douglas’s Sept. 9, 2009 murder are:

- Shearn Joshua, 21, arrested in the days after the party for a felony drug charge.
- Paul Baldwin, 20, jailed on recent felony drug charges.
- Eon Owens, 20, also jailed for recent felony drug charges.
- Parrish Harris, 19, a suspect in another fatal shooting.
- Julio Batista, 25, who told the Daily News in 2009 he was Douglas's boyfriend.

Julio Batista, left, is seen with Desirae Douglas's father Earl Douglas, mother Nara Carney-Brown and step-father Kenneth Brown in December 2009. Batista, who is now charged with second-degree murder in Douglas's death, was described as her "best friend/boyfriend" in her obituary. (BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News)Julio Batista, left, is seen with Desirae Douglas's father Earl Douglas, mother Nara Carney-Brown and step-father Kenneth Brown in December 2009. Batista, who is now charged with second-degree murder in Douglas's death, was described as her "best friend/boyfriend" in her obituary. (BILL ROTH / Anchorage Daily News)

A sixth man wanted for aiding the suspected killers is still on the loose.

Dwaylon Kenzell Woodruff, 21, is wanted for charges that he tampered with evidence by disposing of spent shell casings from guns fired at the party.

Douglas's family first heard her accused killer's names on Wednesday.

"We were thrilled to hear the news. We've been waiting a long time," said grandma Clara Douglas. Clara spoke briefly outside an Anchorage courtroom about 1:30 p.m. She wore a red shirt with Desirae's picture.

"I can still hear those three shots," said aunt Jeanetta Douglas, who said she lives down the street from where her niece died.

Douglas's family cried later inside the courtroom, where six of the men -- brought in wearing orange jumpsuits and handcuffed together in two groups of three -- all pleaded not guilty

Yet another man accused in the killing died this March. He was shot in Mountain View by one of the men blamed for Douglas’s death, according to prosecutors:

Devante Jordan. Photo courtesy of the Anchorage Police Department.Devante Jordan. Photo courtesy of the Anchorage Police Department.

Devante Jordan shooting (March 24, 2011)
Police believe Jordan, 19, was one of the shooters in the gunfight that killed Desirae Douglas.

Jordan died in a March 24 shooting. Three people have been indicted in that killing:

-- Parrish Harris, who is also indicted in the Desirae Douglas case.
-- 21-year-old Marquinn Jones-Nelson, who is accused of shooting Jordan.
-- Dorian Topps, 17, an accused accomplice in the Jordan shooting.

Together, the three face additional charges for evidence tampering, because they tried to hide the gun used to kill Jordan, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

Several men from the two murder cases will be arraigned in state Superior Court today, Bachman said.

This is a developing story. Check back later for details.

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