Contact: Ken Daley, Public Information
District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro’s office on Thursday (Sept. 10) secured first-degree murder indictments against two Terrytown brothers accused of a triple-shooting in Algiers four months ago that took the lives of two siblings, one of them a 3-year-old boy.
Rodney and Ronjae Steadman (from left, above) each was charged with two counts of first-degree murder, one count of attempted first-degree murder, one count of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder and one count of second-degree kidnapping. The 10-count indictment was handed up by an Orleans Parish special grand jury that has considered the case over the past two weeks.
Rodney Steadman, 23, and his younger brother Ronjae Steadman, 19, each faces a mandatory lifetime prison sentence without the possibility of probation, parole or suspension of sentence if convicted on either first-degree murder charge. The OPDA does not intend to seek a capital verdict.
The Steadman brothers, along with a third suspect, are accused of planning and carrying out a drive-by shooting outside a house in the 2000 block of Lebouef Street around 7:20 p.m. on May 11, 2020. The suspects inside a white GMC truck pulled up and opened fire on another family, killing brothers James Estem, 23, and Isaha Adams, 3. The victims’ 48-year-old mother also was struck, shot in the leg as she attempted to pull her toddler to safety. She survived her injuries.
New Orleans police investigators determined that the gunmen fled the scene with Ronjae Steadman driving, but he crashed the truck into a utility pole, forcing the suspects to scramble away. Police said the Steadman brothers and fellow suspect Razaq Adekunle fled on foot from the crash scene near the intersection of General Meyer Avenue and Holiday Drive, before forcing their way into a man’s vehicle at gunpoint to accelerate their
Adekunle, also 19 and pictured at left, remains at large. Charges against him are expected following his apprehension, and authorities ask anyone with knowledge of his whereabouts to contact the NOPD or Crimestoppers at 504-822-1111.
Assistant District Attorneys Alex Calenda and Irena Zajickova presented the case to the special grand jury.
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