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Murder Suspect Allowed to Go Home After Mother Posts Bond

Dec. 28, 2007 — A 19-year-old Charlotte Amalie High School student, charged in connection with a murder at Coral World early Christmas morning, was permitted to return home with his mother Thursday after she signed a $150,000 unsecured bond.
Superior Court Judge Michael C. Dunston told the defendant, Jahmil "Beans" Brown of No. 3 Estate Lovelund, "In keeping with the holiday spirit, I'm going to take a chance on you, young man."
The conditions of Brown's release include wearing an electronic monitoring device, not leaving his home for any reason other than court appearances and calling his probation officer daily. The judge told Brown that any violations of the conditions could cost his mother $150,000.
An arraignment date was set for 9 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 3, when Brown will enter a plea to charges of first-degree murder, possession of a dangerous weapon during the commission of a violent crime, and voluntary manslaughter.
Brown admitted stabbing to death 19-year-old Kadeem Leonard in the early hours of Dec. 25 following a dance at the Smith Bay marine life center, according to a police statement. Brown turned himself into police three hours later, reportedly claiming that the stabbing was in self-defense.
Asst. Attorney General Jesse Bethel told the court the manslaughter charge suggests the "…possibility Mr. Brown was acting in self-defense, although we don't accept that."
Detective Jason Marsh of the Major Crimes Unit, who was working security at Coral World the night of the stabbing, was the arresting officer.
"Witnesses were interviewed and stated that Mr. Leonard and Mr. Jahmil Brown had a confrontation where Mr. Leonard threw a punch at Mr. Brown and Mr. Brown, in return, took a knife and stabbed Mr. Leonard in the chest," Marsh told the court.
According to Marsh, Leonard died at the scene after witnesses heard him yell out, "This man just stabbed me."
Marsh disputed the possibility that Brown acquired the knife from Leonard during the altercation, saying eyewitnesses claim Brown was "…armed prior to the confrontation."
"Apparently there was a feud between the defendant and the victim ongoing for some time, apparently (about) a young lady," Marsh said.
Asked by the judge whether the altercation between the two men was "heated," Marsh replied, "At the time of the fight, it wasn't a heated fight. One punch, one stab."
According to Bethel, voluntary manslaughter, which carries a maximum term of 10 years in jail, is based on a killing committed in the "heat of passion." He said the prosecution will dispute that defense and attempt to prove that Brown came to Coral World ready to settle a score. "The fact that he snuck (the knife) in — if he brought the knife to the place — suggests some sort of premeditation," said Bethel.
If convicted of first-degree murder, Brown could face a maximum of life in prison without parole.
According to his mother, Brown was hoping to graduate and attend Lincoln Technical Institute in Florida next year.
Neither the police nor the Attorney General's Office could provide any information about the victim.
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