UPDATE (03/03/2023): On Friday, Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears announced that Cameron Banks, Desmond Banks and Lasean Watkins were all convicted of four counts of murder, four counts of felony murder, and four counts of robbery resulting in serious bodily injury after a five-day jury trial.
On March 31, Cameron and Desmond Banks were sentenced to 220 years. Watkins sentencing hearing is set for April 28.
INDIANAPOLIS — Kim Roberts has waited three, years for justice.
“It’s been a long journey. It’s been a long road,” said Roberts during day one of the trial of three men accused of killing Jalen Roberts, Marcel Wills, Kimari Hunt and Braxton Ford.
The bodies of the four were found in February 2020 inside an apartment in northeast Indianapolis. Autopsies revealed they all died of multiple gunshot wounds.
In the aftermath of the shooting, Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears disclosed over 50 shots had been fired inside the apartment.
Two weeks of investigating ultimately led to four then-teenagers. Desmond Banks, his brother Cameron Banks, Lasean Watkins and Rodriece Anderson were arrested. All four were charged with multiple counts of murder.
Anderson has accepted a plea deal and will now testify against his former co-defendants.
Robbery may have been the original motivation for the crime. Homicide detectives called to the shooting scene found the apartment ransacked, drawers pulled from dressers and an empty safe.
At the time of his death, Jalen Roberts was just 19 years old. His killing came at the beginning of a three-year surge in homicides in Indianapolis. Kim Roberts says subsequent murders caused her to relive her son’s death.
“It makes me feel like I’m continuing that moment over again. My heart goes out to the mothers who are losing their child to gun violence for just senselessness, no reason at all,” said Roberts.
The trial is not expected to go long. Judge Marc Rothenberg told potential jurors he expected to wrap the case up by week’s end. Kim Roberts says she has cleared her calendar, “I’m gonna be here every day, every day until the end.”