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Richmond mom says her son's alleged killer was a childhood friend

Posted at 5:02 PM, Feb 17, 2023

RICHMOND, Va. -- Kenneth Cooper was killed while walking down an alley by a Northside Richmond store on April 5, 2022. On Wednesday, ten months after his murder, his alleged killer was finally captured.

"To be honest with you, Jon, there's no winners in this situation. My child is deceased and the other family is dealing with a loved one incarcerated," Laverne McMullen said.

McMullen has been dealing with her son Kenneth Cooper's death for over a year. She said that waking up every day without answers has been unbearable at times.

Her son's alleged killer was a childhood best friend

Despite her pain, she has praised the work of Major Crimes Detectives RPD.

"I believe in these police officers and detectives and that's coming from someone who used to run on these streets. I didn't hear about it. No one told me about it, I lived it," McMullen said.

Part of the reason McMullen says she feels sorry for her son's accused killer is due to a personal connection. Cequan Pittman, the man charged with Kenneth's murder, was someone she said her son grew up with.

Pittman has been charged with first-degree murder in Kenneth's death. Court records show that he also has a history of violence and traffic offenses.

"It brings closure to me for the fact I wanted my son's case to be resolved, but I feel bad for him as well. I'm not one of those parents who want to downgrade and talk bad about him, but I am a parent who wants justice and I want him to serve his time and think about Kenneth Cooper every day while he sits there doing time," McMullen said.

Her son's alleged killer was a childhood best friend

McMullen said she has reflected and learned a lot through this family tragedy. She has been trying to give back to the same streets that took her son's life.

Kenneth's mother said the website for the foundation honoring her late son should go live soon. The foundation aims to help impoverished communities and those who are homeless on Richmond's North Side.

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