Photo by David Goodwin
Photo by David Goodwin

Trial date set for suspects accused in child’s death

Published 4:20pm Monday, July 22, 2013

Kenyatta Kendrick was asleep in her bed in her Nichols Street home when all of a sudden bullets started to shred the house.
The Eclectic Elementary first-grader had one of the bullets go in and out of the side of her body.
She died soon after.
That was more than two years ago.
The memorial service to honor her life as a “quiet, hard-working and incredibly sweet” child has come and gone.
Her uncle, D.J. Kendrick, also suffered from one of the bullets – almost destroying his foot.
Kendrick still walks with a limp to this day.
Meanwhile the three men allegedly responsible for the death of the Eclectic child await their day in court — 30 months later.
Aaron McDowell of Alexander City, Bernard Nix of Alexander City and Stanlandous Slaughter of Eclectic have been indicted by an Elmore County grand jury and all three face murder charges.
The trial date for the trio has been set for Dec. 16.
So why has it taken almost three years for these three to answer for their alleged crime?
“I can’t talk about the case since Judge (Sibley) Reynolds has issued a gag order,” said C.J. Robinson, chief deputy district attorney for the 19th judicial circuit. “I know the December trial date is being enforced pretty strongly, and I feel like it will be very possible one of the three will be tried in December.”
The reason for the drive-by shooting stemmed from an on-going family feud.
Elmore County Sheriff Bill Franklin said the family argument started a few months before the shooting 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 shots rang out.
Franklin said investigators recovered at least 18 slugs inside and outside of the house.
All three men have been held without bond so far.
Between now and December, McDowell and Slaughter will appear in court on Aug. 1 for pretrial motions.
Then on Oct. 17, Nix is scheduled for a suppression hearing.

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