Baltimore, Maryland – Kiara Haynes, age 36, of Baltimore, pleaded guilty today to two counts of aiding and abetting the use and discharge of a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking crime and crime of violence, causing the death of Jennifer Jeffrey and her seven-year-old child. Haynes has been detained since her arrest in Texas on June 18, 2021, on a related federal criminal complaint.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron; Special Agent in Charge Timothy Jones of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) Baltimore Field Division; Special Agent in Charge Thomas J. Sobocinski of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office; Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore Police Department; and Chief Mark K. Lewis of the Cambridge Police Department.
“The murders of Jennifer Jeffrey and her child were a tragedy,” said U.S. Attorney Erek L. Barron. “The loss of any life is tragic, and never more so than a child If you threaten or harm a witness, especially a child, the full weight of federal law enforcement will be harnessed to hold you accountable and bring you to justice, no matter how long it takes.”
According to Haynes’s plea agreement, Haynes helped her co-defendant, with whom she was romantically involved, plan to steal heroin from Jennifer Jeffrey, a long-time friend of Haynes. On May 26, 2015, the co-defendant arrived at Haynes’s apartment from the co-defendant’s home in Cambridge and the two went to the phone store, where the co-defendant bought a new phone. During the course of the evening, the co-defendant explained that Jeffrey had heroin and he planned to rob and kill Jeffrey to get the heroin. The co-defendant confirmed to Haynes his intention to kill not only Jeffrey, but her minor child if the child were present at the time of the robbery. Haynes offered to help the co-defendant get a gun.
Haynes subsequently contacted a relative whom she knew to have a gun. The relative was incarcerated at the time. Haynes told the relative on a recorded jail line that she needed the gun so the co-defendant could rob Jeffrey of her drugs. In exchange for allowing Haynes to use the gun, Haynes promised to give the inmate “like 30 [grams]” of the stolen heroin and his gun back. The inmate agreed to loan Haynes the gun. After the call, Haynes and the co-defendant met with the inmate’s brother, who gave Haynes a .45 caliber firearm. Haynes and the co-defendant returned to Haynes’s apartment with the gun.
Later that night, as detailed in the plea agreement, the co-defendant left Haynes’s apartment to go hang out with Jeffrey at Jeffrey’s nearby home. When Haynes woke up later and realized that the co-defendant had not returned, Haynes got upset. Between 4:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. Haynes walked over to Jeffrey’s home and began banging on the door and yelling for the co-defendant to come out. Jeffrey’s relative opened the door and told Haynes that children were in the house asleep and that Haynes should go home, which she eventually did.
According to Haynes’s plea agreement, at approximately 7:23 a.m., the co-defendant walked back from Jeffrey’s residence to Haynes’s apartment. The co-defendant told Haynes that Jeffrey had shown him a large amount of heroin and that Jeffrey’s child did not feel well and had not gone to school that day. At approximately 11:41 a.m. Haynes overheard the co-defendant on the phone with Jeffrey, who was talking about making breakfast for the co-defendant. When the co-defendant got off the phone, he retrieved the .45-caliber gun from Haynes’s bedroom and told Haynes that he was going to Jeffrey’s to get the drugs.
When the co-defendant returned to Haynes’s apartment, Haynes asked him what had happened. The co-defendant told Haynes that Jeffrey and her child were dead and gave Haynes a bag of heroin as her “cut” of Jeffrey’s drugs. When Haynes went to a friend’s house to meet the co-defendant, she overheard individuals telling the co-defendant that the heroin was only worth $8,000. As detailed in the plea agreement, Haynes returned the gun to the inmate’s relative along with the heroin given to her by the co-defendant, as payment for the use of the gun.
On May 28, 2015, after a receiving a call for assistance, the Baltimore Police Department discovered Jeffrey and her child dead in their home.
In the plea agreement, Haynes further admitted that she lied to investigators and prosecutors about these events on five occasions between May 2015 and November 2020.
Haynes faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in federal prison and a maximum sentence of life in prison on each of the two counts. U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett scheduled sentencing for February 24, 2022 at 2:30 p.m.
United States Attorney Erek L. Barron commended the ATF, the FBI, the Baltimore Police Department, and the Cambridge Police Department for their work in the investigation. Mr. Barron thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Dana J. Brusca, Sandra Wilkinson, and Paul Budlow, who are prosecuting the case, and thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael C. Hanlon for his assistance.
For more information on the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office, its priorities, and resources available to help the community, please visit www.justice.gov/usao-md and https://www.justice.gov/usao-md/community-outreach.
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