Keiona Braxton was a young adult woman in the Richmond, Virginia, area who was shot to death, stabbed, and then burned in her Henrico County home eight years ago. It took three years to bring her killer, Kayla Armstrong, to justice. The motive? It was all over a man named Kenneth Lee, who fathered two children with the two women and caused a longstanding battle between the romantic rivals.
You haven’t heard much about the case because it wasn’t covered much in the media. But this Monday night, TV One’s Fatal Attraction will dramatize Keiona Braxton’s savage death on their TV crime series. The episode titled “When The Smoke Clears” follows police as they try to sift through the ashes at a burning home, where the bleeding body of a black woman is found in the debris, leading investigators on a chase to find a vicious rival who wanted to see the victim dead.
Murder Brought In The New Year
It was New Year’s Eve 2008 when police received a 911 call about house on fire. After they arrived at the home on Crenshaw Road, near Chamberlayne Avenue, they found an African American woman who was bleeding. They began administering help, but the woman died before reaching the hospital. As Virginia detectives processed the scene, they found the burners on the stove turned on high, which could have indicated that it was a simple fire, but as they looked more closely, it was clearly a case of arson.
Also found at the scene, were bullet casings and a knife. An autopsy report conducted on Braxton confirmed that there were burns, stab wounds, and a gunshot wound to the body. The report also stated that Keiona Braxton was three to four months pregnant. The father of her unborn child was Kenneth Lee, her live-in boyfriend, who was out of town on New Year’s Eve.
The police investigation revealed that Keiona Braxton had been engaged in a bitter feud with Kayla Armstrong, a woman who used to date Keiona Braxton’s current boyfriend, Kenneth Lee. Records indicate that Kayla Camille Armstrong was also the mother of Kenneth Lee’s child. The jealous woman wanted Keiona out of the picture and had assaulted her twice before. The first time Kayla Armstrong came after Keiona was in 2006, when she was cut with a knife. There were also calls back and forth to the police, indicating that Keiona was consistently being harassed by Kayla Armstrong.
Kayla Armstrong Was A Psycho!
The most recent aggression happened just days before Keiona’s murder, where she was again attacked and her car vandalized, court documents show. In analyzing the case, one has to question why Keiona’s boyfriend was out of town on New Year’s Eve, especially in light of the fact that Keiona’s life was obviously in danger.
Even more disturbing is Kayla Armstrong’s last MySpace post on New Year’s Eve.
A Community Hurt
Keiona Cecilia Tiree Braxton’s family was grief-stricken, along with the rest of the community who mourned with them. In fact, the case had such an emotional impact on the community that the local preacher asked for peace and for everyone not to allow the tragedy to cripple them.
As for Keiona’s funeral, it was especially sad, and it appeared no one wanted Kenneth Lee to attend. When he did, there was an altercation at the burial service.
For her heinous crime, Richmond reports that a jury sentenced Kayla Armstrong to 30 years in prison. In 2013, she tried to have Kenneth Lee killed.
Is Kenneth Lee To Blame?
People who know Kayla C. Armstrong say that she was a good person and a good mother who had the desire to become a preacher. They blame Kenneth Lee, stating on one forum that he played both women and chose one over his daughter. In court, Kayla Armstrong tried to defend her actions, according to Richmond.
“I am not an animal. I was in an emotional state.”
Still, it’s hard not to blame Kenneth Lee for having some culpability in all of this. Sure, he didn’t commit the murder, but one does wonder if he believes his actions played any role.
Despite this tragedy, old classmates, family, and friends want to remember Keiona Braxton as the caring, smart, and outgoing woman that endeared her to so many.
“Keiona was employed for the last three years by Prudential Clean Room Service as a Soil Sort Leader. Keiona loved to live life to the fullest. She enjoyed traveling and being with her family and friends. Keiona was outgoing, caring and a lovely, beautiful woman that loved her nieces and nephews. She was educated in Chesterfield, VA at Thomas Dale High School and was a proud graduate of the 2001 Class. She was affectionately known as “Kee-Kee” and “Kee” by her family and friends.”
To see this mystery unfold, watch Fatal Attraction this Monday at 9/8 p.m. Central on TV One. You can view Keiona Braxton’s MySpace page here. A picture of Kenneth Lee can be seen in the video below. Recently, Fatal Attraction debuted the case of Cheryl Miranda.
[Image via KelvinW/ShutterStock]