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Man accused of killing 2 friends indicted

Jacksonville police say 3 were planning robbery

Darian Alston
Darian Alston

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A man accused of killing his two friends last September after the three began planning an armed robbery was indicted Thursday for their killings.

Cedrick Washington was indicted on two counts of first-degree murder and one count each of second-degree arson, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, resisting an officer with violence, possession of cocaine and possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana. 

Police said the  three friends were discussing committing an armed robbery in September when Washington changed his mind and shot and killed the other two men: 34-year-old James Battle (pictured below, right) and 23-year-old Darian Alston (below, left).

Police said they were killed behind a warehouse on Burke Street in the Lackawanna area early the morning of Sept. 15.

Washington was arrested by patrol officers on the day of the slayings after witnesses reported seeing him setting a car belonging to one of the victims on fire. Police said Washington also had items belonging to the victims in his possession when he was taken into custody.

According to the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, Washington later confessed to the killings and murder charges were added.

Darian Alston
Darian Alston
James Battle
James Battle

"All three of them were together and they were actually planning to commit a robbery at another location," said JSO Assistant Chief Chris Butler. "For some reason our suspect in this case got the feeling that they were going to do him harm, so he killed both of them."