GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — A man now faces murder charges in the double homicide of his ex-girlfriend and her friend in Grand Rapids earlier this year.
Kent County Prosecutor Chris Becker says two counts of open murder, a count of assault with intent to commit murder, a count of felony firearm and a count of felon in possession of firearm have been filed against Juan Nico Garcia.
Garcia is scheduled to be arraigned on Thursday.
Garcia, 30, was already in jail on a perjury charge in connection to the death of Jai’onna Braden and Quavon Lee. Investigators say he lied to them about where he was the night of their deaths.
Braden, 20, and Lee, 23, were shot dead June 7 in a car on Bemis Street near Eastern Avenue SE.
Braden’s mother told News 8 her daughter had dated Garcia after moving to Grand Rapids late last year and that he was abusive. Braden eventually broke off the relationship, but her mother said Garcia wouldn’t leave her alone, continuing to call her relentlessly and in one instance breaking out her car windows.
While Braden’s mother said her daughter contacted police shortly before her death, police say they never got a report from Braden that she was worried about her safety.
Braden’s mother recalled her as a free spirit who loved her friends, animals, the elderly and learning. Lee’s mother said he was a wonderful son, brother, cousin and student who was preparing to finish a degree in automotive technology.
They are among 20 people dead of homicide in Grand Rapids in 2020, one of its deadliest years ever.