Man accused in shooting death of high school senior pleads guilty to amended charge

Marvin Patterson

MILWAUKEE -- A Milwaukee man charged in the shooting death of Kiara Brown, 18, found shot to death in a vehicle near 98th and Carmen on March 26, 2018, reached a plea deal in the case against him Thursday, Aug. 22.

Marvin Patterson, 20, on Thursday pleaded guilty to an amended charge -- homicide by negligent handling of a dangerous weapon/explosive. Sentencing was scheduled for Oct. 10.

Back in June, Brown's mother walked into a Milwaukee County courtroom for what she thought was the start of a jury trial for the man accused in her daughter's death. Instead, Patterson walked out of the courthouse without handcuffs, after the state's essential witness failed to appear.

Authorities said the day after the crime, Patterson turned himself in to police. He initially confessed, but later changed his story.

Kiara Brown

Patterson was initially charged with one count of first degree reckless homicide, use of a dangerous weapon. However, on June 3, with no alternative theory of prosecution, Patterson was let go on a $100,000 signature bond. He was released on the condition that he promised to appear in court for a status conference on July 3.

"You have to understand the consequences of when you do something -- especially when you take a life. You took a life," said Kenisha Brown, Kiara's mother.

Heartbroken beyond words, Kenisha Brown said she was devastated her daughter's accused killer was released.

Kiara Brown (PHOTO:

"She was my oldest and she... oh God, we were so close, so close. That's why it hurts so bad," said Kenisha Brown.

Kiara Brown, set to graduate from Vincent High School in spring 2018, had dreams of becoming a model and artist. Her mother remembers her as a bright light -- and  a beautiful soul.

Marvin Patterson

"She was my best friend. There will never be another. Never," said Kenisha Brown.

According to the criminal complaint, officers were dispatched to 98th and Carmen in Milwaukee around 5:30 a.m. on March 26, 2018 for the report of a person shot in a vehicle. Police had been alerted by a citizen --  who had observed a white car blocking an alley with the driver's door open. The citizen did not observe anyone in the driver’s seat, but did observe a woman, who appeared to be dead, in the passenger seat.

The criminal complaint also states that when Patterson turned himself in, he told investigators that he and Kiara Brown were sitting in the vehicle and he decided to point the gun at Brown's head -- and when he did so, the gun went off. Patterson told detectives he didn't intend to kill Brown. After the shooting, Patterson said he "freaked out" and drove the car into an alley and left the scene.