Killing of girl, 2, in Inkster revenge, prosecutor says

Oralandar Brand-Williams
The Detroit News

Detroit — The fatal shooting of 2-year-old KaMiya Gross in Inkster last summer was an act of revenge exacted against her father in retaliation for a shooting three months earlier involving one of the defendants charged in the case, said the prosecutor handling the case.

On trial are Raymone Jackson and Raphael Hearn. Authorities have said Jackson did the shooting and Hearn aided him in the crime at a public housing complex on Carlyle Street.

During opening statements Thursday, Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Jaimie Powell Horowitz said the shooting boiled down to bad blood between Hearn and Gross’ dad, Kenneth French, who was shot multiple times July 1 before, police say, he watched his toddler daughter shot down execution-style in the head.

Also hurt in the barrage of bullets was a female teenager, who along with French, is expected to testify during the trial for Jackson and Hearn.

Horowitz told jurors that the attack was over a shooting where Hearn was wounded in April. He blamed French for not protecting him during the shooting at an Inkster motorcycle club.

“Mr. Hearn was the impetus for KaMiya’s death, and Kenneth’s shooting and Chelsea’s shooting,” Horowitz said Thursday. “An innocent child was shot all because Mr. Hearn wanted revenge.”

Jackson’s attorney, Evan Callanan Jr., said the child was not the target of the shooting and his client did not commit premeditated murder.

“You haven’t heard one shred of evidence,” Callanan said. “You’ve heard a theory that the (prosecutor) wants you to buy hook, line or sinker.”

Hearn’s attorney, Matthew Evans, said while the shooting of the young girl is “a sad case” the evidence is circumstantial. He added his client was not out to get revenge against French and did not aid or abet the shooting.

“He wanted to get revenge on somebody, but it wasn’t Mr. French,” Evans said.

Horowitz told the jurors that at the end of the trial, “I’m going to ask you for justice. Justice for KaMiya, justice for Chelsea and justice for Kenneth French.”

The trial is being heard before Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Ulysses Boykin.

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