Jury acquits Norfolk man accused of shooting 5 people, including newborn, with an AK-47

A Norfolk man accused of shooting five people with an AK-47 — including a newborn baby — was acquitted Thursday of all charges.

Jurors in Norfolk Circuit Court deliberated just two hours before finding Kimahni Lankford not guilty of all 10 charges he faced.

The shooting happened at about 10 p.m. Aug. 25, 2020 in an outdoor area of the Lexington Park apartments on East Princess Anne Road. Injured by the gunfire were 1-month-old Honesty Brehon, her mother, and three men.

Honesty, who lived at the apartment complex and was outside with her mother when the gunfire erupted, was struck in the hip by one of the bullets. She underwent emergency surgery that night to remove part of her hip and reproductive organs. As a result of her injuries, she walks with a limp and will never be able to have children.

Police body camera video played at the trial showed dozens of people standing around as officers responded to the scene, but it’s not known how many people witnessed the shooting. Only one person came forward to identify a gunman, and that wasn’t until five months later.

The witness was Honesty’s uncle, Lavon Platt, who told jurors he’d gone to the apartment complex to buy drugs that night. Platt was the only witness called to testify during the three-day trial who identified Lankford as the gunman.

Defense attorney Eric Korslund argued during his closing statements that Platt wasn’t a credible witness.

Platt admitted during his testimony that he didn’t say anything to law enforcement about who shot his niece until after he was charged with violating his probation and turned himself in to police. He also admitted to previously being convicted of making a false statement to police.

Korslund argued Platt pointed the finger at Lankford in order to make a deal with police and prosecutors that allowed him to be released on bond while his case was pending. He was released the next day.

“He played the system. He played it like a fiddle,” Korslund told the jurors. “And it worked.”

Jane Harper, jane.harper@pilotonline.com