Man indicted on church killing spree

/ Source: The Associated Press

A man accused of killing his wife and opening fire inside a church, killing four of her relatives, was indicted murder charges, and prosecutors said they would seek the death penalty.

Only one adult inside The Ministry of Jesus Christ Church in Baton Rouge survived the May 21 shooting spree.

“This is the most heinous crime I have ever handled,” prosecutor Mark Dumaine said after the grand jury on Thursday indicted Anthony Bell, 25.

Dumaine said Bell and his wife, Erica Brown Bell, 24, were having marital problems before the shootings. According to authorities, Bell abducted her and her three children from the church service after opening fire on her relatives.

Several hours later, police found Erica Bell dead in a car at an apartment complex and her husband holding her baby nearby, police said. None of the children was harmed.

Anthony Bell’s mother-in-law, Claudia Brown, who was the church’s pastor, was wounded in the attack, but underwent surgery and survived. The grand jury indicted Bell on a charge of attempted murder in that shooting.

The public defender’s office was assigned to represent Bell, who was jailed without bond.