SWEETWATER, Tenn. (WATE) — Four people have been indicted by the grand jury in connection to the Sweetwater shooting that killed a two-year-old on Valentine’s Day.
Liu Huerta, of Monroe County, Itzhui Huerta, of Monroe County, Francisco Lagunas Jr., of Loudon County, and Malachi Franklin, of Knox County, received 36 indictments:
- Conspiracy to commit first-degree murder
- Felony murder (two counts each)
- Attempted first-degree murder (three counts each)
- Attempted especially aggravated burglary (one count each)
- Reckless endangerment (one count each)
- Possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent felony (one count each)
Their arraignment is scheduled for July 24, 2023, at 9 a.m. in Monroe County.
On Feb. 14, officers responded to a home on Hawkins Road after a call that shots were fired. Police found multiple people shot, including a two-year-old.
According to police, the two-year-old, Alayna June Butts, was taken to the hospital where she later died on Feb. 17.
In the warrant, a man, identified as Lenning Huerta, was found dead on the porch with a gunshot wound. Lenning Huerta was believed to have been the person who shot Butts before he was killed.
There was another unidentified man lying on the ground in front of a vehicle with a wound to the top of his forehead. The boyfriend of Alayna Butts’ mother was also shot and taken to the hospital.
There was a manhunt for Liu Huerta after the fatal shooting but he was soon arrested on Feb. 15. He was taken to the Monroe County Justice Center.
During the investigation, Itzhui Huerta, Lagunas and Franklin were also arrested.
“The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office would again like to thank each agency that assisted in this
case, including The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, Smoky Mountain division of the United
States Marshall Service, Knoxville Police Department, Sweetwater Police Department,
Madisonville Police Department, 9th Judicial Drug and Violent Crimes Task Force and the 10th
Judicial District Attorney Generals Office,” Monroe County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.