By Josh Mitchell/Informer Publisher
Family members of a man who was shot to death outside his Lampton residence March 29 met with Marion County Sheriff Berkley Hall on Thursday to discuss the status of the investigation.
There still have been no arrests in the shooting death of Kenrodrick Jefferson, 29, even though the sheriff said it is known who killed Jefferson. Hall told the Marion County Informer on Tuesday that Damos Daniels shot and killed Jefferson.
On Tuesday Hall said the circumstances that brought on the shooting remain unclear. Hall said it is unknown what happened to escalate the situation to the point that Daniels shot Jefferson. The sheriff said he hopes a witness comes forward to shed light on why Daniels killed Jefferson. “Somebody had to see something,” Hall said.
Hall said he does not think Daniels went to Jefferson’s house with the intent of killing him. Hall noted that Daniels had his two children, wife and mother-in-law with him when he went to Jefferson’s house. Hall questions why Daniels would bring his family with him if he knew he was going to kill Jefferson.
The Sheriff’s Office is still waiting on more witnesses to come forward to help solve the case, Hall said.
Ronnie Jefferson, who is Kenrodrick’s dad, and Kenrodrick’s wife, Kaleena Jefferson, said they met with Hall and Sheriff’s Office Chief Investigator Scott McKinney Thursday about the investigation. After the meeting, Kaleena and Ronnie Jefferson told the Marion County Informer that they are both very disappointed with the way the Sheriff’s Office has handled the investigation.
Sheriff Hall could not be reached for comment this afternoon.
Ronnie Jefferson said Sheriff Hall told him Thursday that Daniels turned himself in after the shooting. According to Ronnie Jefferson, Hall said there was not enough evidence to hold Daniels in custody for the shooting. Ronnie Jefferson wonders how there could not be enough evidence to hold Daniels when he turned himself in.
Kaleena and Ronnie Jefferson said they hoped that Thursday’s meeting with the Sheriff’s Office would make them feel better, but it did not. Kaleena said she thinks Daniels was working as a drug informant for the Sheriff’s Office and therefore has not been arrested.
Hall said on Tuesday that the Sheriff’s Office does not know the whereabouts of Daniels. Kaleena said she was at the residence when the shooting happened and heard the gunshot and ran outside and saw Daniels with a gun in his hand getting in a vehicle.
Ronnie Jefferson said he arranged the meeting with the Sheriff’s Office because he has not heard anything from law enforcement for three months regarding the case. “I’m very disappointed with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office,” said Ronnie Jefferson.
Hall said Tuesday that the case remains under investigation and will eventually be sent to a grand jury to decide if it should be prosecuted. Kaleena said the sheriff told her that some witnesses are scared to come forward in fear of retaliation.
Family members have complained that the Sheriff’s Office just doesn’t care about Kenrodrick Jefferson, but Hall said that is untrue. Hall noted that one of his investigators performed CPR on Kenrodrick at the scene of the shooting. “We cared about him,” Hall said. “He was a human being.”
Two days after the shooting, Daniels’ trailer in Blue Springs burned down, but the Sheriff’s Office has not confirmed that the house fire was retaliation over the killing of Jefferson. The day after the shooting, a car belonging to Daniels’ mother was set on fire, which the Columbia Police Department said was a retaliatory attack over the shooting.
After the shooting, law enforcement officials issued a search warrant and discovered 40-50 pounds of marijuana, according to the Sheriff’s Office.