Kentwood 13-year-old arraigned on open murder charges

1:32 AM, Feb 2, 2010   |    comments
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  • Keishawn Mann
  • Jemelle Stokes
  • Jemelle Stokes

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) - 13-year-old Keishawn Mann is accused of killing his stepfather. Mann is being charged as an adult, and was arraigned on open murder charges at the Kent County Courthouse Monday.

Mann appeared via closed circuit TV from the juvenile detention facility. He'll stay there despite a request for bail.

"If the court had the opportunity to review his background clearly there is no indication of any kind of precedent that would lead to this kind of behavior," said Kevin Floyd, Mann's Attorney.

While there's no precedence of violence in Mann's past, the crime itself is also unprecedented for the City of Kentwood.

35-year-old Jermelle Stokes was shot in the back of the head while sitting at his computer. Mann claims it was an accident, saying he fired the weapon five-feet from Stokes.

"That information is absolutely inconsistent with the pathologist who said that the gun was no more than six-inches from the victims' head," said the prosecuting attorney.

The prosecution also says the shooting was premeditated, claiming Keishawn took a gun to school the day of the shooting, and informing a classmate that he intended to shoot his stepfather.

"We're always learning stuff as we go. That's what we do to get all the facts and circumstances before we make any conclusions, that was something new."

Keishawn's mother declined to comment. She was surrounded by dozens of relatives. Even Mann's classmates came to court with their parents.

"He is the best friend, and if any parent wanted a good a kid to hang around their kids it would be Keishawn," said Erika Brown.

Stokes' family was not in court. On the phone, a relative says Jermelle Stokes has been in Mann's life since he was a toddler, and there were no known problems between the two.















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