Brandon L Woodard was killed in broad daylight in Manhattan in 2012. However, it seems his case is far from over. For the past two months, his mother, Sandra Wellington, has been attending the State Supreme Court in Manhattan, diligently taking notes while the case tries to reach some conclusion.
The accused for the murder include Lloyd T. McKenzie and four men. So far, the identity of the hooded gunman who shot Brandon in the back of the head as he walked on West 58th street near Broadway has not bee revealed. The actual day and time of the murder was caught on a school’s security camera.
Mr. McKenzie, 39, is the only one of the defendants accused of the murder. The other four men -Lature Irvin Sr, Darryl Mason, Michael Wilson and Pedro Deloitte have only been charged with conspiracy to smuggle 11 kilos of cocaine from Los Angeles to New York City over 12 weeks. During the trial, prosecutors have presented evidence that Mr. McKenzie planned the murder of Mr. Woodard on Dec 11, 2012. The reason behind the killing apparently is that he did not want to pay the $161,000 he owed for the 5 kilos of cocaine that he had already received earlier.
It is alleged that Mr. McKenzie’s plan was to meet Mr. Woodard close to a piano store so he could give him the money. But there was another simultaneous plan since Mr. McKenzie was also accompanied by a gunman in a rented sedan. The gunman walked behind Mr. Woodard and shot him in the head while Mr. McKenzie remained seated in his car. So far the gunman has not been identified. At the closing, lead prosecutor Christopher Prevost said that this was a brutal cold and calculated murder.
Unfortunately there were no eyewitnesses who could identify Mr. McKenzie as the car driver. But Quran Pender, a former actor, who was also part of the smuggling ring and now cooperating with law enforcement, mentioned at the trial that he arranged the meeting between Mr. Woodard and Mr. McKenzie. He further stated that Mr. Mackenzie asked him to tell Mr. Woodard to meet him at the piano store on 58th street.
The entire case is based on Mr. Penders credibility and the defense lawyers as always have tried to undermine his character saying that he has a long history of petty crime and is an untrustworthy character. In fact, the defense has also stated that Mr. Pender orchestrated the murder because he wanted to take over Mr. Woodard’s drug business.
Law enforcement also has phone records showing that Mr. McKenzie was calling Mr. Pender a few minutes before the shooting. For Mr. Woodard’s mother, the trial has revealed some painful stories from his past. Now she waits for the verdict.