Youth home: Young killer who could be released ‘remorseful’

Keishawn Mann, then 13, pleaded guilty to killing Jermelle Stokes in 2010

Keishawn Mann
Keishawn Mann appears during a court hearing on June 27, 2017.


GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A Kent County man who killed his mother’s boyfriend when he was 13 years old could become a free man on his 21st birthday later this year.

Keishawn Mann, 20, looked much different in court during Tuesday’s hearing. His counselors at Muskegon River Youth Home told the judge that it’s more than his physical appearance that’s changed.

Mann now works in the kitchen at the youth home facility. He also takes online courses at Mid Michigan Community College.

Staff members from the youth home described Keishawn as a “strong leader.”

“He seems to be very remorseful for what he’s done,” said one staff member.

In 2010, Mann pleaded guilty to killing 35-year-old Jermelle Stokes, who was dating his mother at the time.

Keishawn Mann
A still image from file video shows a teenaged Keishawn Mann in court.

The defense argued that Stokes abused Mann and his mom, which fueled the deadly shooting at the family’s Kentwood home. However Stokes’ loved ones have long refuted that notion.

On Tuesday, the judge granted Mann more time home during his visits with family.

“The more we can incorporate him into his family and society, the better chance he will not be institutionalized,” his attorney told the judge.

Mann wrote apology letters to the victim’s family and invited them to have a face-to-face conversation when they are ready.

The judge scheduled another hearing to review Mann’s progress on Sept. 9.

Mann’s release hearing is slated for Dec. 6, which is his 21st birthday. It’s during that hearing that the judge will decide if Mann will go to prison or be released.