As 2017 was coming to a close the last act performed by Marlin Joseph was allegedly murdering his 36-year-old girlfriend, Kaladaa Crowell and her 11-year-old daughter Kyra Inglett.
After the double murder occurred, Joseph went on the run taking Cromwell’s gray 2012 Toyota Camry. The BOLO (Be on the lookout) issued by authorities specified that the car Joseph was last seen driving had a Bethune-Cookman specialty license plate BA0MJ. His description signified his hair styled in short dreadlocks, a cross tattoo between his eyes, as well as a large tattoo on the right side of his face. He was listed at 5’10”, 180 lbs. wearing khaki pants with no visible shirt at the time of the shooting. Police were concerned that he might have changed his appearance.
A five thousand dollar reward was offered by the US Marshal’s Service in conjunction with the West Palm Beach Police Dept. for any information leading to the whereabouts and capture of Joseph, but no one cashed in on the money when the Marshals tracked him down without any help from the public. Joseph was found hiding in an apartment complex in Lake Worth through what the Marshal’s service touted as their normal investigative process. He was taken into custody on New Year’s Day wanted on two counts of first-degree murder.
Before the arrest was made, Joseph’s mother Robin Denson put out an appeal to her son stating “Marlin. Son, I love you. You know I love you. Can you please just turn yourself in?” Denson was also a close friend of the victim and was quoted as saying “Kaladaa was the sweetest person, give the shirt off her back to help anybody,” also telling authorities that she considered the woman her stepdaughter.
According to a probable cause affidavit put out by the West Palm Beach Police, the couple was heard arguing throughout the day in reference to Ms. Crowell’s daughter Kyra having a bad attitude and not getting along with other children who also lived at the residence.
Mr. Joseph’s brother was in his bedroom when he heard what sounded like a gunshot and found Ms. Crowell on the floor when he went to investigate. At that point, Crowell was still alive and pleaded with the brother to call 911.
After doing so, the brother heard a commotion outside the house and ran out to find his other brother wrestling with Marlin. When police arrived, the other brother (unnamed) told them that he saw Marlin firing his gun at Ms. Cromwell’s daughter. Another member of the family told police that he saw Marlin shoot Kyra before running back into the house where he heard two more shots fired. Marlin then ran out of the house and drove away in Ms. Cromwell’s car.
A neighbor, identified as Al Blunt told police he heard five shots as a woman was screaming to call 911 at about the time of the shooting. Other witnesses corroborated the story adding that they saw a woman walk past the child on the ground and continue down the street where a group of young men were gathered.
Police responded shortly after 7:00 p.m. and found Ms. Cromwell dead at the scene as her daughter Kyra was found lying in the path to the house. She was rushed to St. Mary’s Hospital in West Palm Beach where she later died of her injuries by the following morning.
Joseph previously served almost a year in prison after being convicted for battery on a child. The charges originated from a case in 2013 when he was accused of lewd behavior with a 13-year-old girl. He was 22 years old at the time.
Joseph made his first court appearance before a Palm Beach County judge in the first week of January. He is being held without bond and was also ordered by the judge not to have contact with any of the victim’s family or other witnesses involved in the case.
Although the evidence in this case may seem cut and dried, keep in mind it’s still the job of the prosecution to secure a conviction. If you or someone close to you is charged with any charge of homicide it’s crucial to retain an experienced criminal defense attorney who specializes in these types of cases at the earliest possible time.
Michael B. Cohen, Esq. is a Fort Lauderdale Criminal Defense Attorney whose expertise in homicide cases has been well-earned. As a former Assistant State Attorney for Broward County, and an Assistant United States Attorney for the government, Mr. Cohen clients receive a clear advantage for obtaining the best sought after outcome refuting any charges alleged by the State of Florida and the Federal Government. Working for the prosecution prior to founding his criminal defense practice in the private sector has given him a superior advantage that will result beneficially for those who seek his help.
Nearly twenty years of outstanding private practice criminal defense in Fort Lauderdale, Miami, and the Palm Beaches as well as all neighboring counties in the surrounding areas of South Florida inclusive of his forty year career.