MINNEAPOLIS (FOX 9) - A Minneapolis man is accused of fatally shooting his girlfriend at an apartment during a fight over his alleged infidelity.
Hennepin County prosecutors charged Johnny Leroy Brown, 50, with second-degree murder, second-degree murder while committing a felony, and being a prohibited person in possession of a firearm in connection to the death of 43-year-old Kesha Moore at an apartment in the Linden Hills neighborhood on Dec. 17.
Brown made his first appearance in court on Thursday, which was attended by Moore's family members.
"What he did, I can't even fathom the words to say it," said Kesha's mom, Debra Moore.
Kesha's cousin, Jessica Armstrong, added how much she meant to their family, saying, "Everybody who came into contact with Kesha loved her. Her family loved her. She was a pillar in our family.
According to court records filed Wednesday, officers responded to a report of a woman who was shot inside an apartment on the 4200 block of Sheridan Avenue South. Authorities forced their way into the unit and found a woman, identified as Moore, with a single gunshot wound to her head.
Authorities noted it appeared her body was moved, and her right eye was "significantly swollen," charges explained. There was no firearm in the home, and her vehicle was also missing.
Court records say Brown called 911 dispatch reporting the shooting, claiming that he and his girlfriend got into a physical altercation, and she pulled out a gun when it went off. He told them the address and hung up, but called back 20 minutes later, saying he was ready to turn himself in.
Dispatch pinged his location, which was not the address he claimed to be at, and he shut his cell phone off shortly after. Brown later told investigators he threw his phone out the window of a car to "elude police," charges allege.
However, Brown bought a new cell phone the following day, and authorities pinged its location, where they found him with his "new girlfriend."
Authorities arrested Brown, and he called his "new girlfriend" and claimed he was never in a relationship with Moore, charges allege. Family members told investigators Moore and Brown had been living together for the past several months, but their relationship "had been rocky," and she had asked him to move out.
Brown told investigators on the day of the shooting, they got into an argument because Moore thought he was cheating. As he went to fix himself a drink, he turned around and claimed she was pointing a gun at him.
He alleged he took the firearm away from her but claimed he must have bumped the trigger, which caused the gun to go off. He took the firearm with him when he left the apartment and threw it out the window near the train tracks. Investigators searched the area but could not locate the weapon.
According to court records, Brown has a history of domestic violence convictions and has had several protection orders issued against him.
If you or someone you know is facing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or visit the hotline’s website to chat with an expert.