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Man sentenced to life without parole after fatal shooting at Hendersonville park

By Kari Barrows

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    HENDERSON COUNTY, North Carolina (WLOS) — A Hendersonville man has been sentenced to life behind bars without parole in a 2018 fatal shooting that took place at a park.

The office of R. Andrew Murray, District Attorney for Henderson, Polk and Transylvania Counties, announced that Kenneth Mills (AKA City Boi), 25, from Hendersonville, was convicted for the First Degree Killing of Lavoris Jermaine Brown (AKA Breeze), 42, also from Hendersonville. Superior Court Judge William H. Coward sentenced Mills on Friday, Feb. 4.

Officials say Mills’ conviction stems from an incident that occurred on Aug. 23, 2018, when a physical fight turned into chaos. Police say two women had been fighting at Sullivan Park, one of them Brown’s girlfriend, when another joined in the fight, Mills’ girlfriend. Officials say when Brown attempted to intervene in the fight, he was shot several times by Mills. A bystander was also struck by a bullet, but survived his injury.

Officials say multiple witnesses were in the area when responders arrived to a chaotic scene.

Mills’ attorney had previously claimed he was protecting his girlfriend that day and likely acted in self-defense. Mills also claimed Brown had been carrying a weapon, but investigators say witnesses from that day did not report seeing Brown with a weapon and no weapon was discovered on or near Brown’s body by responding officers, officials say.

After a weeklong trial, Henderson County jurors returned a unanimous guilty verdict.

“District Attorney Andrew Murray thanks the Hendersonville Police Department for their expedient response to a dangerous crime scene, and their thorough and meticulous investigation of a chaotic crime that included a multitude of witness, many of whom were reluctant to become involved,” a press release from the district attorney’s office says. “Their steadfast commitment to locating and securing a cold-blooded murderer before anyone else could be harmed is commendable. Their diligence, unwavering commitment to find the truth, and tireless efforts undoubtedly saved the lives of countless other possible victims.”

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