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Second man arrested in fatal shooting of 11-year-old girl

2020-07-11

A second arrest has been made in the death last year of a young South Carolina girl, who was killed when more than 35 gunshots were fired into her home in the middle of the night.

Desmond Bruton, 21, was charged with murder Thursday, along with four counts of attempted murder for each of the survivors from that night who were in the residence when 11-year-old Ja’Naiya Scott was killed, Anderson Independent Mail reported.

Bruton has also been charged with possession a weapon during a violent crime, arrest warrants note.

Since June 3, Bruton had been held at the Spartanburg County jail on a charge of armed robbery, which was unrelated to Ja’Naiya, and he was picked up at the jailhouse Thursday to face charges in her killing, records show.

During his bond hearing, the young main claimed he didn’t understand why he was being charged, alleging, “I don’t come down here” and “I don’t know this family. I’m just as confuse as everybody else.”

Bail was denied and Bruton was returned to the jailhouse.

Early last July, Stephen Braden Powell, then 17, was arrested for the murder as well as four counts of attempted murder for the June 23 shooting in Anderson, about 30 miles southwest of Greenville. He was charged as an adult.

At the time of his arrest, authorities noted they were aware of a Facebook post that was attributed to a “Braden Powell” account and said the crime took place after a robbery.

“I feel so guilty and can’t go on like this,” the quickly-deleted post read, sending prayers to the family and concluding, “I am so sorry.”

Later, a post emerged claiming the user had been hacked and police would not elaborate on how pertinent the post was to the investigation.

The motive and the suspects’ connection remains unclear, though Anderson Police Chief Jim Stewart has long maintained that Powell would have needed assistance getting into the residence.

“Someone had to drive him there; someone had to pick him up,” he previously said.

Both Ja’Naiya’s cousin, then also 11, and older sister, then 18, were injured in the shooting. Both have since recovered.

The little girl’s funeral was paid for by Miami Dolphins defensive end Shaq Lawson, who grew up near Anderson and told the outlet at the time, “It could have been my little sister.

“I’ve got a little sister around that age,” he said. “And it could have been one of my family members.”