CLEVELAND (AP) — The mother of a man charged with killing a teenage girl he’d recruited to rob a bank contacted police after learning he had bragged about the slaying, a prosecutor said during opening statements at the man’s murder trial.
Assistant Prosecutor Brian Kraft told jurors on Tuesday that 20-year-old Kiechaun Newell was afraid that 17-year-old Breanna Fluitt would rat him and his accomplice out after surveillance photos of Fluitt robbing the bank in August 2016 were made public, Cleveland.com reported .
20-year-old Kiechaun Newell. (Police booking photo)
Newell’s mother went to police days after Fluitt was killed and said she suspected her son was involved because he “had been bragging to them about what he had done,” Kraft said.
Twenty-three-year-old Jeffrey Doss Jr. awaits trial on the same charges as Newell: aggravated murder, kidnapping and robbery. Kraft said that both men were members of a gang called the Black Disciples and that Newell killed Fluitt at Doss’ request. They have pleaded not guilty.
Newell and three other teens picked Fluitt up in a stolen SUV four days after the robbery and drove her to East Cleveland, Kraft said. Newell shot her twice outside the SUV after telling everyone to switch seats so he could make out with her, the prosecutor said. He then shot her three more times as she lay on the ground, Kraft said.
One of Newell’s attorneys cautioned jurors during his opening statement that the three teens received plea deals that kept their cases in Juvenile Court in exchange for their trial testimony against Newell.
Kraft said prosecutors will play at trial a recording of Newell confessing to East Cleveland police. Some of Newell’s family members are expected to testify.