The Journal Gazette
Thursday, October 01, 2020 1:20 am

Man pleads guilty in slayings

JIM CHAPMAN | The Journal Gazette

A Fort Wayne man pleaded guilty Wednesday in shootings that left two people dead and badly injured another in February.

Kyaw H. Hlang, 24, pleaded guilty in Allen Superior Court to two counts of felony murder and one count of attempted murder.

A plea agreement filed last week says Hlang’s sentence is not to exceed 100 years. He will be sentenced Nov. 6.

If a judge accepts the plea deal, prosecutors will dismiss two counts of murder, one count of attempted murder and a sentencing enhancement for using a gun during the crime.

Hlang is one of three people charged in the Feb. 26 shootings at 2405 Barnhart Ave., near East State and Coliseum boulevards.

Mon Ong, 21, who was shot in the chest, and Brooke Wendel, 23, who was shot in the head, died. Meng Kem, 27, was shot in the neck and the head but survived.

Kerwins Louis, 21, and Jamesley Paul, 23, are charged with two counts each of murder and felony murder, one count of robbery with serious bodily injury and a firearm enhancement for using a gun to commit the crime. Paul’s trial is set for Jan. 5. Louis is scheduled to stand trial Feb. 23.

Felony murder is defined by state law as a murder committed in the act of another felony – in this case robbery. Meng Kem told Fort Wayne police Detective Matthew Foote the men came to rob him of his money, which he estimated to be about $1,500.

Two hours after the shooting, Officer Jean Gigli stopped a vehicle at Kenwood Avenue and Carew Street, according to court records. The officer smelled burnt marijuana and saw narcotics and cash in the back seat passenger door. Paul and Louis were in the car, though they weren’t driving.

Hlang was pulled over on North Anthony Boulevard near Coliseum Boulevard. In the car, police discovered a semi-automatic pistol with a magazine in it and a slide locked to the rear “as if it had been run dry,” court records said.

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