The jury heard from multiple witnesses, including Kennedy’s mother, Mariah Maxie, and her aunt, Jade Maxie. The child was in the car with her aunt and mother, stopped at a red light, when shots rang out.
Mariah Maxie said she soon noticed her daughter was not responding. Jade Maxie drove straight to the hospital where Kennedy would die days later.
“I will never forget (that day),” Jade Maxie said. The three had been out shopping on the first day of Kennedy’s winter break from school. Kennedy lived in Cobb County and attended Sedalia Park Elementary School.
Reed left the scene, got rid of the gun and told people not to talk to police before leaving the area. He was taken into custody by the U.S. Marshals Service in Virginia.
The trial began Friday with opening statements, however, the case proved to be a pivotal moment in Atlanta, after it took place toward the end of historically deadly year. Authorities investigated 157 cases in 2020, which at the time was the most since 1996.
Kennedy’s death happened a little more than five months after 8-year-old Secoriea Turner was shot and killed when shooters fired into her mother’s car. Two people, Jerrion McKinney and Julian Conley, face charges in Turner’s death.
Following Kennedy’s death, then Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said in a statement at the time, “Our hearts are broken by the senseless murder of Kennedy. While the Atlanta Police Department has significant leads in the apprehension of those responsible, it does not erase the pain felt when a beautiful, vibrant and loving child is tragically taken from her family.”
Five months later, Bottoms announced she would not seek reelection, and the issue of crime dominated the mayor’s race that followed.