NEW IBERIA, La. (KLFY) — Weeks after an Iberia Parish grand jury returned a pair of indictments on two suspects in the 2019 shooting murder of Garon Lewis, 17, a prosecutor confirmed a number of charges have been dropped against other suspects in the case.

On May 11, a grand jury indicted Travis Layne, Jr. and Bryson John Lewis for principal to second-degree murder and conspiracy to commit second-degree murder in Garon Lewis’ death. Layne and Bryson Lewis were only two of seven arrests made over six months during the course of the murder investigation.

Attorneys for one of the suspects who was not indicted, Kenray Olivier Ledet, 31, contacted News 10 to confirm that their client’s charges had been formally dropped on May 25. In speaking to 16th Judicial Assistant District Attorney Alister Charrier, News 10 learned that prosecution will only be continuing on the two men indicted by the grand jury.

“I have an ethical obligation to only prosecute the cases where we have sufficient evidence to move forward,” said Charrier. “We presented the two cases we felt had the strongest evidence and the grand jury returned indictments accordingly.”

Charrier said her office’s extensive investigation included as many as 75 witnesses — a task that was not helped by the chaos of the COVID-19 outbreak starting in 2020. Since the prosecution has to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt, Charrier said her office needed to move forward with the cases that had the best evidence available and to dismiss the cases they felt they could not appropriately prosecute.

Ledet’s attorneys, Todd Clemons & Associates of Lake Charles, said that while they welcomed the decision to drop their client’s charges, the investigation did not come without a cost to Ledet. Originally, Ledet’s bond was set at $845,000 and he was subsequently charged with conspiracy to commit second-degree murder, principal to aggravated criminal damage to property and principal to illegal discharge of a firearm. Ledet’s attorneys wrote in a press release that their client was not taken to trial within the time frame prescribed by statute, so his attorney filed a motion for his release. After hearing that motion in February of 2020, the court instead reduced Ledet’s bond to $250,000.

Ledet and his family eventually posted that bond, though Ledet spent a total of over five months in jail, according to his attorneys. Ledet’s attorneys said the bond was an excessive amount placed on a constitutionally presumed innocent citizen.

“[Ledet] firmly maintained his innocence from the day that he retained us in 2019,” Todd Clemons & Associates office wrote in a press release. “While the District Attorney’s Office is to be commended for ultimately doing the right thing, a severe price was paid … The false accusation cost our client his freedom, his money, and tarnished his reputation,” the release continued. “Our client never should have been arrested and charged. The State lacked credible evidence to prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.”