The Journal Gazette
Friday, October 30, 2020 1:00 am

Story changes in double homicide

Convicted man says others weren't there

MATTHEW LEBLANC | The Journal Gazette

Kyaw Hlang accepts his role in – and punishment for – a violent robbery in February, but he also has a new story to tell about the attack that left two people dead and another man badly injured.

Hlang, 24, pleaded guilty in September to attempted murder and two counts of felony murder as part of an agreement with prosecutors, and he could be handed a century-long prison term when he is sentenced next week. Paperwork filed by his lawyer says he is remorseful and takes responsibility for his actions, and Hlang told an Allen Superior Court judge in a recent letter he can't sleep and has suicidal thoughts.

“What I say and do will never be enough or will it atone for my sins,” the letter says. “I don't even think God himself can forgive me of this.”

Hlang is one of three people charged in the case, and he now says the other two weren't involved.

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. A separate letter Hlang sent Oct. 13 to the office of Court Clerk Christopher Nancarrow says earlier claims that Louis and Paul took part in the melee are lies.

“The names I gave you as my co-defendants are not the guys that (actually) were with me on that night,” Hlang wrote. “The reason I lied is because I didn't want to give up my best friends.”

He argues he “had a beef” with Louis and Paul “because we had a shoot out with each other” and asks that their charges be reconsidered.

“I will provide the names of the real culprits if you can come at me with a plea that is more favorable,” the letter filed in court Oct. 20 says.

Prosecutors have not filed a new plea agreement, and a sentencing hearing remains set for Nov. 6. The agreement calls for two counts of murder, one count of attempted murder and a sentencing enhancement for using a crime to be dropped.

Felony murder is defined by state law as a murder committed in the act of another felony. Murder is knowingly or intentionally killing someone.

What the new claims from Hlang mean for Louis and Paul is not clear.

Michael McAlexander, Allen County chief deputy prosecutor, said he couldn't talk about the facts of the case.

“However, as in all cases, when new evidence or statements arise, we continue to investigate the new evidence to see if it continues to support the filed charges,” he said in an email.

A pretrial conference for Louis is scheduled today.

Mon Ong, 21, was shot in the chest, and Brooke Wendel, 23, was shot in the head Feb. 26 at 2405 Barnhart Ave. Each died.

Meng Kem, 27, was shot in the neck and the head but survived. He told police men came to rob him of about $1,500.

Hlang's Oct. 13 letter says he “went to Meng Kem's house to get drugs and rob him.”

The later letter to the judge asks to be referred to “mental health treatment” behind bars.

“I really need help,” he wrote.

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