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Suspect pleads guilty to 2011 murder

Published 5:49pm Thursday, August 1, 2013

One of the three suspects charged with murder in connection with the drive-by shooting death of 6-year-old Kenyatta Kendrick pleaded guilty on Thursday.
Aaron McDowell of Alexander City pleaded guilty to murder and first-degree assault.
In his plea agreement, he will serve 20 years in jail.
Also in the agreement, he has agreed to “offer truthful testimony if called upon by the state.”
C.J. Robinson, who is the prosecutor in the case and chief deputy district attorney for the 19th Judicial Circuit, said he could not comment on McDowell’s plea agreement per the gag order which Circuit Court Judge Sibley Reynolds has put on this case.
McDowell is one of three suspects who have been charged with Kendrick’s murder and the shooting of her uncle D.J. Kendrick.
Eclectic’s Stalandus Slaughter, who was scheduled to appear before Reynolds on Thursday, is presumed to be the trigger man in the Jan. 4, 2011, drive-by shooting, according to Elmore County Sheriff Bill Franklin.
Bernard Nix of Alexander City is scheduled to appear for a hearing on Oct. 17.
Kendra Kendrick, mother of Kenyatta and D.J. Kendrick, said she’s ready to move forward.
“I guess once we get closer to trial I’ll feel better about it,” she said. “I’m just ready for it to be over.”
The scheduled trial date for Slaughter and Nix is Dec. 16.
The reason for the drive-by shooting stemmed from an on-going family feud.
Franklin said the family argument started a few months earlier at a family reunion, and Slaughter “self-involved himself in the feud.”
“That’s what’s so senseless about it,” Franklin told The Herald.
During the early morning hours of Jan. 4, 2011, the three men rolled up on the house and bullets rang out.
Franklin said investigators recovered at least 18 slugs inside and outside of the house.
— David Goodwin contributed to this report.

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