A D.C. Superior Court grand jury indicted a 17-year-old Alexandria youth yesterday on charges that he murdered four elderly Southeast Washington residents during a two-month period late last year.

Gary Winston Jaggers was formally charged with 49 criminal counts, including first-degree murder, rape, burglary and armed robbery, as well as other charges. Jaggers, who will be tried as an adult, could receive a life sentence for each murder charge if he is convicted.

At least three of the four victims lived on Oakwood Street in a Congress Heights neighborhood just south of St. Elizabeths Hospital. The crime spree so shocked the once-tranquil neighborhood that some residents contemplated moving away and others installed additional locks, kept to themselves and grew suspicious of strangers.

The indictment charged Jaggers with beating to death four victims -- Burwell Davis, 88, on Dec. 16; Julia Gambill, 65, on Dec. 12; J. Marie Schneck, 81, on Nov. 22, and Ann Fink, described as in her late 60s, on Oct. 31.

Jaggers, of 245 Burgess Ave., also was charged with raping one of the victims. He also was charged with armed rape, assault with intent to commit rape, armed robbery, first-degree burglary and other charges in the cases of six other victims who were not killed. It was not immediately clear whether those victims lived in the same area as the persons who were killed.

Jaggers was arrested by police on Jan. 27 as he slept in a vacant apartment in a largely abandoned public housing building at 3281 15th Pl. SE. At the time, he was charged only with killing Davis, whom one neighbor recalled as a "gentleman in the old-fashioned sense" who would sit on his front porch on summer evenings and call out to neighbors as they walked by. D.C. Superior Court Judge William S. Thompson ordered Jaggers held on $500,000 bond.

Mayor Marion Barry said at the time of Jaggers' arrest that he believed the victims were assaulted because of their vulnerability -- principally, their ages and the fact that most of them lived alone.

According to the indictment, Jaggers' two-month odyssey of crime began on Oct. 31 with the slaying of Fink, who had seven grandchildren, and ended with a New Year's Day robbery. The body of the last murder victim, Burwell Davis, was found on Dec. 16 at his home in the 400 block of Oakwood Street.

At the time of his arrest, Jaggers was described by friends and others as a troubled teen-ager who had a juvenile record dating back to his early teens.