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Shooting victim had family on his mind

Hernando Today
Published:   |   Updated: May 9, 2013 at 08:37 PM

There was a quiet toughness about him.

He spent most of his childhood in a Jamaican ghetto. His mother left him and his younger brother when they were young.

Those ties remained severed.

His father moved to Brooklyn, N.Y., and eventually he followed, but their reunion didn't happen overnight.

For a while, Kenardo Fraser was on his own. He had to look after himself and his brother while the two were entrenched in poverty.

At age 15, Fraser got a fresh start in the United States. He dropped the "s" from his name and replaced it with a "z." His new life had begun.

His younger brother, Richardo Fraser, soon followed.

"There were numerous times where stuff happened and he was there," he said while recalling growing up in Jamaica with his older brother. "When stuff happened to him, I was there. I can't really describe it, man. We always looked out for each other ... He was a protector."

Kenardo Frazer, known by his friends as Kenny, was fatally wounded the morning of March 31 along Howell Avenue.

The Hernando County Sheriff's Office arrested three men in connection with the shooting - Dunell Brown, 26, Julius Holder, 25, and Charles Bottom, 31.

Frazer attended high school in Brooklyn where he played soccer. His stepmother, Emma Fraser, said he attained his U.S. citizenship, moved to Florida and got married.

"He got caught up in a little mischief down there," she said. "It was misdemeanor stuff ... He came out of jail a year or two ago. He was trying to reestablish himself. He was getting ready to come back to New York."

She said many of his legal problems stemmed from his decision to befriend the wrong people.

Her opinion of him never tarnished. She said he still had the family's love and support.

"He was a very good, caring and genuine guy, you know?" Fraser said. "He was never disrespectful to me. He was very responsible."

She remembers seeing him at night while he was a high school student. He kept the lamp on in his room past midnight. He did his homework to ensure he graduated on time.

Fraser said his work ethic often astonished her. Her stepson spent most of his life without his mother and before he moved to New York, hardly anyone around him grasped the importance of education. Somehow he knew, she said.

"He was very happy to be here," she said, recalling Frazer's move to New York. "He and his brother got up in the morning and went to school every day. They came home and did their homework. (Kenny) was able to cook. He was a gifted guy."

Fraser bounced back and forth from anger to empathy for the three men charged in her stepson's death. She said a lot of lives were ruined after March 31.

"We're very sad," she said. "I'm sad for the family of those people. They are losing the ones they care about.

"People have no respect for human life today," Fraser continued. "This is not something I would want any mother to have to face. This is very shocking to us."

She said her husband, Frazer's father, fainted when he learned of his son's slaying.

"He's really devastated," she said.

Son of a football star

Brown and Holder were charged with homicide while Bottoms was charged with principle to a homicide.

Brown is the son of the late Jerome Brown, a Pro Bowl defensive lineman with the Philadelphia Eagles. Prior to that he starred at the University of Miami.

The elder Brown was killed June 1992 after he crashed his Chevrolet Corvette along Hale Avenue.

Dunell Brown was 7 years old at the time of his father's death.

Deputies said during the morning of March 31, Brown got involved in an argument with Frazer. He called Holder and told him to bring his gun with him to the house at 21375 Anderson Road, according to the Hernando County Sheriff's Office.

Holder and Bottoms arrived at the house and Brown provided more details about the conflict between him and Frazer, deputies said. The two went to Holder's house and returned with a gun, according to an arrest affidavit.

Realizing his life was in danger, Frazer bolted from the house and the three suspects pursued him in Holder's vehicle, deputies said.

They temporarily lost sight of him, but Brown and Bottoms saw him run through the yard at 1583 Howell Ave., according to the affidavit.

They got out of the vehicle and Holder shot Frazer twice, deputies said.

Frazer was dead before authorities arrived.

Detective B.P. Faulkingham wrote in his affidavit there were two witnesses who positively identified Bottoms as being "an active participant" in the slaying.

All three suspects were interrogated less than 12 hours after the shooting and subsequently arrested, according to the sheriff's office.

Frazer has a wife and 5-year-old daughter in Brooklyn. His stepmother and brother said he was making plans for a reunion. He missed his family.

"He was in Florida because it was like the island atmosphere it had in Jamaica," said Fraser.

"But his wife told me recently he couldn't stay there," she continued. "There was too much confusion going on in that home. The guy, Brown, didn't live there, but he just started coming around there. They didn't like each other."

Fraser said her stepson was the type who would keep to himself, but he also liked to be direct with people. If he had something to say, he would blurt it out. She suspects that's what happened the morning of March 31.

Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis said the shooting was a result of domestic- and drug-related issues.

Others called Hernando Today with more information, but they declined to speak on the record for fear of retaliation.

Clearing up misconceptions

By his own family's admission, Frazer had a criminal past.

His run-ins with the law began in 2005, according to arrest records.

Frazer was charged with domestic violence and threatening a witness and two years later was charged with cyber stalking. All of those cases were dropped, authorities said.

In 2007 in Pasco County, he was charged with marijuana possession, resisting arrest and tampering with evidence. He served a short stint in jail and was sentenced to three years probation.

He would violate that probation and spend more time behind bars, according to court records.

In spite of his arrests, Frazer mostly remained a free man while living in Florida. Before long, after he went his separate ways with his wife and friends, he realized he was ready to return home.

"He was making the effort to come back and see his family," said his brother, Richardo Fraser. "They took that away from him just like that."

Nancy Sauer, of Brooksville, was friends with Frazer for almost three years. She said he was trustworthy and willing to make sacrifices for those he loved.

"He was always a polite gentleman," she said. "If you needed a hand moving or something, he'd stay there until the job was done.

"He was not just another common thug," she said. "That's not who he was."

Patricia Williams, who also lives in Brooksville, is Frazer's daughter's godmother.

The news of her friend's death shocked her.

"I couldn't grasp it," she said. "I couldn't wrap my head around it."

Frazer's family in New York praised the Hernando County Sheriff's Office for speed in which they apprehended the suspects.

Williams, however, said she has been offended by the way Frazer has been portrayed, particularly among those in the sheriff's office who have worked the case.

She thinks he is being described as just another casualty of the drug culture.

"I really just want to preserve the honor of my friend," she said. "He didn't deserve this. He was the kindest person I knew."


Reporter Tony Holt can be reached at 352-544-5283 or wholt@hernandotoday.com.

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