EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. – A federal jury convicted two brothers over a kidnapping that led to a shooting in East St. Louis.
Kendrick A. Frazier, 35, and Kenwyn L. Frazier, 38, were found guilty of felony charges Thursday after a six-day trial.
Investigators say the two kidnapped Kein Eastman from a home on Aug. 13, 2020, noting that Eastman has not been seen or heard from by family members or law enforcement since the night of the kidnapping.
According to a plea agreement, Kenwyn plotted to kidnap Eastman after he suspected him of stealing a decorative mouthpiece (also called “grillz”) from his grandmother’s house. Kenwyn reportedly forced Eastman out of the residence at gunpoint and took him to an apartment on Kansas Avenue. Kenwyn then looked for the grillz for nearly an hour and a half, then called up his brother Kendrick after he couldn’t find it.
Investigators say the brothers then forced Eastman out of the apartment, kicking him and threatening to shoot him over the grillz. Eastman insisted he hadn’t taken it, though Kendrick reportedly fired at least one shot at Eastman on the ground.
Eastman attempted to escape, only to be shot in the head, according to the plea agreement. Witnesses say Eastman was able to run away, despite the gunshot wound. He has not been seen since.
“This guilty verdict represents long-awaited justice for the family of Kein Eastman,” said United States Attorney Rachelle Aud Crowe. “I am proud of our office and law enforcement partners from the East St. Louis Police Department and the ISP PSEG unit for their commitment in seeing this case through to completion. I also commend the Eastman Family and members of the East St. Louis community who cooperated throughout the investigation to take a stand against this sort of senseless violence. These are the results we expect to see when dedicated public servants and community members work together to pursue even the most difficult of cases.”
“The ongoing commitment by ISP to reducing and preventing violence is built upon the outstanding professional investigative work of our special agents and sustained by our deep relationships with our law enforcement partners and the community,” said ISP Director Brendan Kelly. “The US Attorney’s Office has been and continues to be critical to the sustained effectiveness of this noble effort as seen in this case.”
A Dodge Durango used in the kidnapping was burned following the shooting.