Judge Finds Substantial Probability in Case Against Kevin Brown

Judge Ronna Beck found substantial probability Friday that Kevin Brown participated in the shooting death of 19-year-old James Edward Dean.

Dean died February 10 after being found shot in front of an apartment complex on the 3100 block of Buena Vista Terrace Southeast, according to police.

At the preliminary hearing Friday, Detective Hosam Nasr testified that on the evening of Feb. 10, video footage captured a black SUV parking in front of apartment building 3149 Buena Vista Terrace Southeast.

According to the video, seconds after the SUV was parked, a man exited from the passenger seat and sprinted toward the apartment building. The video shows Dean walking past that same building when the man runs toward Dean from behind and begins to shoot. Dean is seen turning around and attempting to dodge the attack before he collapses. The shooter escapes in the black SUV parked several feet away.

Detective Nasr said the getaway car was owned by Brown’s friend, who prosecutors identified in open court as Rodney Gardner.

Arrest documents say Gardner, also known as W-4, originally denied knowing anything about the murder, but days after the shooting he named Brown as the man who shot Dean.

According to prosecutors, Gardner told police that he had been smoking marijuana the day of the shooting and that Brown had met him at his house on 21st Place Southeast.

Detective Nasr said that Gardner told police that he drove Brown to Buena Vista Terrace because he thought Brown was going to buy marijuana. He also said he drove Brown away from Buena Vista Terrace after the shooting.

Nasr said Gardner told police that Brown never contacted or talked to him again.

Gardner was killed earlier this month.

On June 5 at approximately 10:20 p.m., Gardner was found suffering from gunshot wounds in his car parked in front of his house on the 1600 block of 21st Place Southeast. He was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Brown was arrested in connection with the Dean case two days later, on June 7. He is next expected in court Oct. 25 for a status hearing.

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