Evans man denied bond in fatal shooting of ex-girlfriend in Hephzibah

Published: May. 21, 2021 at 5:05 AM EDT|Updated: May. 21, 2021 at 10:59 AM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - A judge on Friday denied bond to the man accused of killing his former girlfriend by shooting her in the face and the back of the head.

Jaden Ross faces murder and aggravated assault charges in last month’s death of 20-year-old Brenleigh Kitchens.

At Ross’ bond hearing, Kitchens’ mom tearfully addressed the judge, saying “I just ask you, I plead with you,” to deny bond.

The judge heeded her plea.

Friends and family gather to paint a rock to honor the life of 20-year-old Brenleigh Kitchens.
Friends and family gather to paint a rock to honor the life of 20-year-old Brenleigh Kitchens.(WRDW)

Richmond County deputies say Ross shot Kitchens on Aintree Road in Hephzibah back on April 28. She was taken to Augusta University Health to be treated, but she died the next day.

Ross was arrested about an hour and a half after the shooting.

District Attorney Jared Williams represented the state at Ross’ hearing, blaming the slaying on Ross’ “uncontrollable rage.” Ross had been trying to get back together with Kitchens for a year but she refused, Williams said. The prosecutor said Ross thought that if he couldn’t have Kitchens, no one could.

When he confronted her on the night she died, Kitchens managed to briefly get away from Ross and get a knife for self-defense, Williams said.

But Ross shot her, Williams said.

William gave three reasons the shooting wasn’t an act of self-defense:

  • The victim backed away.
  • The defendant moved toward the victim.
  • The defendant fired a second shot. After the victim was shot in the face, she was shot in the back of the head like an execution, Williams said.

Williams argued against bond for Ross, calling the suspect a threat to the community and a flight risk.

The defense argued in favor of bond, saying Ross has an established job as a pool technician and grew up in the CSRA.

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