Murder suspect once in custody, on the loose

Kayla Armstrong
Kayla Armstrong

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) – Henrico Police are trying to find a murder suspect; one they already had in custody the day of the killing. It took three years, but a grand jury just indicted Kayla Armstrong in the 2008 murder of 26-year-old Kiona Braxton.

One source told NBC12 since then, investigators have done lab work, tested DNA and interviewed witnesses. Eventually that gave them enough to bring the homicide charge to the grand jury.

According to sources, no one put Kiona Braxton's murder case to bed. Henrico Police and Commonwealth's Attorney's Office don't want to tip their hat too much and risk influencing a jury.

The suspect indicted by the grand jury for the New Year's Eve killing is a person the victim's family said did it all along. From the beginning they told us fingers should be pointed at Kayla Armstrong.

"I know she had something to do with it," said Braxton's nephew Michael. "I'm 100% sure."

At the apartment complex where a pregnant Braxton was found shot, burned and barely alive, there's really no trace of the horrifying scene from almost three years ago. But authorities said they've been working on the case and have prosecuted Armstrong for other crimes.

We've uncovered court records showing a violent history between the two women. In fact, Armstrong was arrested on the very day Braxton was murdered. Then, the charges included assault and breaking and entering. Authorities said it happened during a heated argument between the two and Armstrong's ex-boyfriend a few days earlier.

A judge acquitted Armstrong.

"I just couldn't believe why would they let her go," Braxton's mother Joyce told us then.

Tuesday night a source told NBC12 the case may have been difficult to prosecute because they couldn't put the victim on the stand.

Police believe Armstrong could be driving a silver Chevy Malibu with license XGB-5184.

If you have any information, call Crime Stoppers at 780-1000.

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