Plea settles 2006 killings of 5 in New Orleans

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By MICHAEL KUNZELMAN
The Associated Press
Monday, March 21, 2011; 1:40 PM

NEW ORLEANS -- A gang leader who maintains he didn't gun down five teenagers in New Orleans has pleaded no contest to state manslaughter charges in the case.

The killings cast a spotlight on a surge of violence after Hurricane Katrina and prompted the return of Louisiana National Guard troops to help patrol neighborhoods.

Michael Anderson's no contest plea is part of a deal that also resolves separate federal charges. The 24-year-old pleaded guilty Friday to drug, murder and racketeering conspiracy and agreed to a life sentence for participating in a 2005 murder.

But he denies gunning down five teens as they sat in a sport utility vehicle a year later.

He says he pleaded guilty to the manslaughter charges Monday because the sentence won't exceed the federal sentence and he'll avoid a separate trial.


© 2011 The Associated Press

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