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Man who murdered two Lansing-area women, with plans to kill more, sentenced to prison

Lansing State Journal logo Lansing State Journal 11/3/2022 Jared Weber, Lansing State Journal

Correction: George Hogg was a close friend of Julie Mooney.. An earlier version of the story incorrectly identified Hogg's relationship to Mooney.

LANSING — Nearly three-and-a-half years after he murdered two Lansing-area women, a Delta Township man has been sent to prison for what could be a lifetime, but the judge who handed down the sentence took the opportunity to blast the prosecutor responsible for the plea deal.

Kiernan Brown, 30, was sentenced Wednesday to 70 to 100 years in prison by Ingham County Circuit Judge Rosemarie Aquilina. Brown pleaded guilty, but mentally ill, Aug. 19 to two counts of second-degree murder in connection with the 2019 deaths of Kaylee Brock and Julie Mooney.

The sentencing took place about two years after Aquilina rejected a plea deal offered by Ingham County Prosecutor Carol Siemon that would have set Brown's minimum sentences in the range of 30 to 50 years. "In good conscience, I cannot abide by this plea agreement," Aquilina said during the 2020 hearing.

Kiernan Brown of Delta Township appears in Judge Rosemarie Aquilina's courtroom, Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2022, for the sentencing hearing regarding the brutal 2019 murders of Kaylee Brock, 26, of Holt, and Julie Mooney, 32, of Williamston. He was sentenced to 70-100 years in prison. © MATTHEW DAE SMITH/Lansing State Journal Kiernan Brown of Delta Township appears in Judge Rosemarie Aquilina's courtroom, Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2022, for the sentencing hearing regarding the brutal 2019 murders of Kaylee Brock, 26, of Holt, and Julie Mooney, 32, of Williamston. He was sentenced to 70-100 years in prison.

On Wednesday, Aquilina called for Siemon to step down from her post.

"Carol Siemon should step down for what she's done in this case and countless other cases that I have rejected pleas on," said Aquilina, with multiple people in the gallery echoing approval.

"I will not sit here and thank Carol Siemon ever," the judge said. "She can take me off the bench, she can grieve me, she can (Judicial Tenure Commission) me, and she can do whatever she wants to me for speaking out, but I'm the voice of the public. That's why I was elected.

"I hope she wakes up and she listens to you. I hope that you show her the evidence in this case, and that she has nightmares for the thought of what she was about to do that I stopped, that you heard," Aquilina said.

Holding her daughter's ashes and a lock of her hair, Denise Ward leaves the witness stand after giving her victim impact statement during Kiernan Brown's sentencing hearing in Judge Rosemarie Aquilina's courtroom, Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2022, for the brutal murders of two Lansing-area women in 2019, including her daughter Julie Mooney, 32, of Williamston, and Kaylee Brock, 26, of Holt. "We will never forget what you did - how can we? You murdered our daughters around Mother's Day," she said. "May you smell death, but only from yourself. May you feel the pain of what you have done and will be done to you." © MATTHEW DAE SMITH/Lansing State Journal Holding her daughter's ashes and a lock of her hair, Denise Ward leaves the witness stand after giving her victim impact statement during Kiernan Brown's sentencing hearing in Judge Rosemarie Aquilina's courtroom, Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2022, for the brutal murders of two Lansing-area women in 2019, including her daughter Julie Mooney, 32, of Williamston, and Kaylee Brock, 26, of Holt. "We will never forget what you did - how can we? You murdered our daughters around Mother's Day," she said. "May you smell death, but only from yourself. May you feel the pain of what you have done and will be done to you."

Siemon was not present for the judge's statement, but she responded to the comments in an email to the State Journal.

"The judge has a right to her own personal opinions and she has chosen to use the bench frequently for her own agenda and to personally attack me. I choose to not do the same. My heart has always been with the victims and their loved ones," Siemon said. "As the elected prosecutor, I have a responsibility for making the tough calls and I stand by all of the work that I’ve done. For the past six-plus years, I have reported out to the public on this work, including our reforms, to sentencing and charging practices. My responsibility is to do my best to hold people responsible for the harm they cause others while also ensuring that the criminal legal system is fair, ethical, and just."

About a dozen family members and friends of the victims stood at the lectern and gave victim impact statements. They remembered Brock and Mooney as compassionate young women who wanted to help Brown, who told the women he was having a mental health crisis and asked for their aid before he murdered them.

"The day you reached out for her help, you bought weapons. Not for your suicide, but for you to use on Julie and Kaylee and the others you put on a list," Denise Hine, Julie Mooney's mother, said to Brown.

Brown was charged with killing Brock, 26, in her Holt home and Mooney, 32, in a Meridian Township motel room within hours of each other in May 2019. Both women died from multiple blows to the head with a blunt object, authorities said.

Kiernan Brown, left, of Delta Township, pictured Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2022, appears in Judge Rosemarie Aquilina's courtroom for his sentencing hearing for the brutal 2019 murders of Kaylee Brock, 26, of Holt, and Julie Mooney, 32, of Williamston. He was sentenced to 70-100 years in prison. Also pictured is his attorney Ronald Berry. © MATTHEW DAE SMITH/Lansing State Journal Kiernan Brown, left, of Delta Township, pictured Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2022, appears in Judge Rosemarie Aquilina's courtroom for his sentencing hearing for the brutal 2019 murders of Kaylee Brock, 26, of Holt, and Julie Mooney, 32, of Williamston. He was sentenced to 70-100 years in prison. Also pictured is his attorney Ronald Berry.

At the time, Brown was on parole after serving three-and-a-half years in prison for assault by strangulation and domestic violence. He was wanted for a parole violation stemming from another domestic assault days earlier, and deputies were looking for him on the night of the murders to serve a legal petition for involuntary commitment for mental health treatment.

The toll could have been worse, police said at the time. Brown formulated a plan to kill four women after trying and failing to get inside his ex-girlfriend's house early on May 10, 2019, they said. He managed to kill two of his targets before police caught up with him.

"There’s no doubt he was on a killing spree,” Ingham County Sheriff Scott Wriggelsworth said in the aftermath of the murders.

Brown has multiple mental health disorders including schizoaffective disorder, antisocial personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, his attorney Ronald Berry said.

Brown apologized to the victims' loved ones at the lectern. He said: "I wish I could go back. I wish I could change it but I can't. I'm sorry I did this to Julie and Kaylee, and to their families, that I put them through this."

"Sorry doesn't bring them back ... you embody hate," Aquilina said. "And then you say you had some mental issues. I see that in the file here. But you also didn't reach out for help ... you didn't tell anyone you were having this suicidal, murderous ideation and you needed help. You took matters into your own hands. You bought saws, hammers and other equipment so you could take out what you thirsted for. To be so powerful that you took two women who trusted you, and you lured them, lied to them and brutally murdered them."

With husband Greg at her side, Michelle Williams talks about her relationship with the late Kaylee Brock, 26, of Holt, Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2022, during Delta township resident Kiernan Brown's sentencing hearing for the brutal 2019 murders of Brock, and Julie Mooney, 32, of Williamston. About a dozen friends and family members of the victims gave victim impact statements before sentencing. © MATTHEW DAE SMITH/Lansing State Journal With husband Greg at her side, Michelle Williams talks about her relationship with the late Kaylee Brock, 26, of Holt, Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2022, during Delta township resident Kiernan Brown's sentencing hearing for the brutal 2019 murders of Brock, and Julie Mooney, 32, of Williamston. About a dozen friends and family members of the victims gave victim impact statements before sentencing.

The two women, in their loved ones' words

Kaylee Brock was a loving person who saw the best in everyone, her stepmother Michelle Williams said. Brock was diagnosed in sixth grade with pervasive development disorder, or PDD-NOS — a condition on the autism spectrum. A special needs student, she worked diligently and earned her high school diploma.

Her goal was to become an independent adult, her family said. With help from Community Mental Health and Peckham Inc., she found part-time employment and moved into a townhouse by herself. She knew Brown from a young adult church they attended, Williams said.

"Her life was just getting started, really," her father Roger Brock said.

Roger Brock said his daughter had a motto: "Let the light lift you up." When she was feeling down, or going through challenges, she would say "don't let the darkness drag you down."

"We put those words on her headstone as a reminder not to let her loss darken our lives to the point of inability to enjoy life and all that is good," Brock said. "I have done my best to live by those words these last very difficult years. My family and I keep on living in the light."

Julie Mooney was an adoring mother to her two daughters and a friend who would always pick up the phone, Tameeca Mahlich said.

"This morning, straightening my hair while getting ready, I remembered all the times when I'd be getting ready to go out with her, she'd be like: 'Oh, you did so much better this time. Do you want me to fix it?'" Mahlich said.

Deputy Chief Assistant Prosecutor John Dewane listens as Judge Rosemarie Aquilina prepares to sentence Kiernan Brown of Delta Township, Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2022, during a sentencing hearing for the brutal 2019 murders of Kaylee Brock, 26, of Holt, and Julie Mooney, 32, of Williamston. He was sentenced to 70-100 years in prison. © MATTHEW DAE SMITH/Lansing State Journal Deputy Chief Assistant Prosecutor John Dewane listens as Judge Rosemarie Aquilina prepares to sentence Kiernan Brown of Delta Township, Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2022, during a sentencing hearing for the brutal 2019 murders of Kaylee Brock, 26, of Holt, and Julie Mooney, 32, of Williamston. He was sentenced to 70-100 years in prison.

Mooney would help absolutely anyone, she said. She met Brown as a coworker at the Chili's in Okemos.

George Hogg was one of Mooney's closest friends.

"I could sit here and talk about the struggles I've had because of this, but after listening to everybody I've just listened to, sitting back there contemplating, knowing what Julie would want, what Kaylee would want ... this hate, this resentment, this anger — they would want us to let it go," Hogg said. "And as we leave this room, never give him a second thought."

Williams echoed his sentiments earlier in the hearing.

"You murdered and mutilated my special-needs daughter, as well as another young woman. You did this in hopes of becoming an infamous serial killer. After today, we should not hear about him again. No more messages or mail. The press should not have a reason to cover him," Williams said.

Contact reporter Jared Weber at 517-582-3937 or jtweber@lsj.com.

This article originally appeared on Lansing State Journal: Man who murdered two Lansing-area women, with plans to kill more, sentenced to prison

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