Man charged with enhanced first-degree murder charge in 2018 murder of teenage girl

Justis Marie Garrett

A grand jury has indicted a man on an enhanced first-degree murder charge in the 2018 murder of a 16-year-old girl while he attempted or actually sexually beat or kidnapped her, according to the indictment. ‘charge.

Robert Nixon Kern Jr., who turns 43 on January 27, had previously been charged with second degree murder in the murder of Justis Marie Garrett. Kern was dating the teen’s mother at the time.

Garrett grew up in Volusia County and had been a student at New Smyrna Beach High School until shortly before his death. She was living in Sorrento when she was killed.

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Joggers found Garrett’s body on April 18, 2018, near a dirt road in the service and gas pipeline road area in DeLand.

Count 1 of the indictment charges Kern with first degree murder and states that he killed the 16-year-old while committing or attempting to commit the crime of sexual assault or kidnapping.

Count 2 of the indictment charges Kern with tampering with physical evidence, stating that he altered, destroyed or concealed any recording or thing to prevent its availability in a trial or investigation.

The murder took place in April 2018; the arrest took place in May 2019

Kern killed Garrett on or between April 13 and April 18, 2018, in Volusia County, Lake County or Seminole County, according to the indictment.

Kern was arrested in May 2019 in Suffolk County, New York. He has been held without bail at the Volusia County Jail since May 2019.

Records show he served two prison terms. In 1999 he was convicted of burglary and served over 18 months. In 2002, he was convicted of another burglary charge and served a year.

Kern told investigators he dropped the girl off at his school in Mount Dora on the morning of April 13, 2018. It was just one of many lies he told detectives, according to the Florida Department of Law. Enforcement. Kern also claimed he was doing carpentry work in Volusia when the girl disappeared, but that too was a lie, according to the FDLE.

This article originally appeared on The Daytona Beach News-Journal: Accused murderer of Justis Marie Garrett charged with first degree murder

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