Testimony begins in trial of man charged in 2015 Mother's Day shooting

Kendra Brown, 36, of North Charleston. (Source: The Brown family)
Kendra Brown, 36, of North Charleston. (Source: The Brown family)

NORTH CHARLESTON (WCSC) - Testimony in the trial of a man accused in a fatal 2015 Mother's Day shooting in North Charleston began Tuesday after a jury was seated.

Kenneth Lamont Robinson, Jr., now 18, was just 15 at the time of the shooting and faces one count of murder and four counts of attempted murder. He was initially charged as a juvenile, but a judge later decided he should be tried as an adult.

Kedena Brown, 36, of North Charleston, was struck by gunfire while driving her silver Chrysler 300 in the area of Ashley Phosphate and Northwoods Boulevard in the early morning hours of May 10, 2015, North Charleston Police say.

The prosecution introduced the jury to what they call a side of Charleston most people don't know exists: neighborhood gang activity.

Lead prosecutor Culver Kidd says what lead to Brown's death early Mother's Day morning, was the result of a gang retaliation. He says Brown's death was a case of mistaken identity. She was driving a car similar to the one prosecutors say Robinson and his co-defendants were chasing, he said.

Robinson's attorney says her client tried to warn the driver it was the wrong car, but in the end, she says it was the driver who pulled the trigger, not Robinson.

Prosecutors say according to state law, he's still accountable for those actions.

"When you engage in a running gun battle through major thoroughfares in Charleston, South Carolina – Dorchester Road, Ashley Phosphate – in an excess of 100 miles per hour, shooting the whole way, you are responsible for every single bullet that comes out of that car, whether it's yours or your co-defendants," Kidd said.

Fatal shooting followed chase involving multiple cars

The police report stated officers responded to the area of I-26 near mile marker 210 in reference to vehicles shooting at one another. Officers say upon arrival a felony car stop was underway by other officers.

Brown was later found shot inside her vehicle at the Exxon Station in the 2300 block of Ashley Phosphate Road. She was hospitalized and later died from her injuries.

Prosecutor Culver Kidd with the Ninth Circuit Solicitor's Office said Robinson was one of eight people riding in three different cars during that chase.

Robinson's attorney Megan Ehrlich filed a motion to remand the case to family court stating her client's actions should not be decided in circuit court.

She added Robinson was the youngest person allegedly involved in the incident, and since then another person has come forward pleading guilty being the triggerman, killing Brown.

Prosecutors confirm a co-defendant has pleaded guilty but said this doesn't cancel out Robinson's actions.

"This all stimulated from the gang wars going on inside the Dorchester Waylyn neighborhood," Kidd said. "The circumstances haven't really changed. We've gained information from the statements that we're relying on. Both of those witnesses put a gun in Kenneth Robinson's hand, and put him firing a gun during that car chase. It just wasn't his bullet that killed the victim."

Court documents state at approximately 1:40 a.m. on May 10, 2015, Brown was driving on Ashley Phosphate Road towards I-26. Prior to the intersection of Ashley Phosphate Road and Northwoods Boulevard, a dark blue colored vehicle came along the driver's side of Brown's SUV, the affidavit states. Shots were fired at Brown's vehicle, striking her in the neck and head.

Investigators state a confidential informant identified Robinson's involvement in the chase and shooting.

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