MILWAUKEE -- A grieving mother walked into a Milwaukee County courtroom Monday, June 3 for what she thought was the start of a jury trial for the man accused in her daughter's death. Instead, Marvin Patterson, 20, walked out of the courthouse without handcuffs, after the state's essential witness failed to appear.
"She had a beautiful smile. Her smile was awesome," said Kenisha Brown, mother of Kiara Brown.
Kiara Brown, 18, was found shot to death in a vehicle near 98th and Carmen on March 26, 2018. More than a year later, Kenisha Brown said her pain is as deep as ever.
"That's what I have to face every day. Every day. My daughter is not coming back," said Kenisha Brown.
Authorities said the day after the crime, Patterson turned himself in to police. He initially confessed, but later changed his story.
"It's hard when justice doesn't want to serve you," said Kenisha Brown.
Patterson was charged with one count of first degree reckless homicide, use of a dangerous weapon for the murder of Kiara Brown. However, on Monday, June 3, with no alternative theory of prosecution, Patterson was let go on a $100,000 signature bond. He was released on the condition that he promised to appear in court for a status conference on July 3.
"You have to understand the consequences of when you do something -- especially when you take a life. You took a life," said Kenisha Brown.
Heartbroken beyond words, Kenisha Brown said she is devastated her daughter's accused killer isn't behind bars.
"She was my oldest and she... oh God, we were so close, so close. That's why it hurts so bad," said Kenisha Brown.
Kiara Brown, set to graduate from Vincent High School in spring 2018, had dreams of becoming a model and artist. Her mother remembers her as a bright light -- and a beautiful soul.
"She was my best friend. There will never be another. Never," said Kenisha Brown.
Kenisha Brown said she is pleading for justice to be served.
According to the criminal complaint, officers were dispatched to 98th and Carmen in Milwaukee around 5:30 a.m. on March 26, 2018 for the report of a person shot in a vehicle. Police had been alerted by a citizen -- who had observed a white car blocking an alley with the driver's door open. The citizen did not observe anyone in the driver’s seat, but did observe a woman, who appeared to be dead, in the passenger seat.
The criminal complaint also states that when Patterson turned himself in, he told investigators that he and Kiara Brown were sitting in the vehicle and he decided to point the gun at Brown's head -- and when he did so, the gun went off. Patterson told detectives he didn't intend to kill Brown. After the shooting, Patterson said he "freaked out" and drove the car into an alley and left the scene.
Patterson's attorney declined to comment on the case Friday, June 8.
Meantime, Patterson has been ordered to wear an electronic monitoring bracelet, and have no contact with Kiara Brown's family.
Patterson is scheduled to appear in court for a status conference in July.