The mother of a man accused of killing his brother on Sunday says the men were fighting about money, but a friend says the men also had a long-running dispute about guns in the apartment.
Police say Kevin Leroy Bodden, 54, used a 9-mm handgun to shoot his younger brother, Mark Gregory Bodden, five times Sunday morning. Kevin Bodden was still armed with the gun when he fled in his younger brother’s gray sedan, according to a 911 recording made public by the Cary Police Department.
Mark Bodden, who had recently celebrated his 44th birthday, died on the floor in a doorway inside the apartment where the two men lived with their mother on Talking Rock Drive, off Green Level Church Road, police said. They arrested Kevin Bodden at Streets at Southpoint mall in Durham on Sunday afternoon and charged him with first-degree murder.
Kevin Bodden arrived in the Triangle from South Carolina five months ago and moved in with his diabetic mother and younger brother.
A friend of Mark Bodden’s said the two men had argued on Saturday morning, a day before the shooting, and that Mark Bodden was concerned because of his older brother’s love of guns.
“He was obviously upset about it,” said Tasha Yolanda Henderson, a hair stylist who lives in Raleigh. “You could tell he was hurt because he is not the type of person who likes to argue.”
Henderson, who had recently befriended Mark Bodden, described him as a “sweet” and “mild soul” who was struggling with depression while acting as a caretaker for his ailing mother.
“He saw his brother liked guns and that bothered him because sometimes he felt suicidal,” she said Monday. “He asked him not to bring any guns in the house.”
Mark Bodden told Henderson that his older brother had moved to Cary after separating from his wife, and that he was seeking a divorce.
The men’s mother called 911 to report the shooting at 8:51 a.m. Sunday.
She said that shortly before the shooting, Kevin Bodden had gone to a nearby store to buy some things. He realized he did not have enough cash and returned to the apartment to get more money from her youngest son.
Mark Bodden told his older brother that he had put the cash he did have toward the payment of the rent “and didn’t have any more,” the woman told the dispatcher.
It is not clear from the 911 recording what happened after the brothers argued. The police have declined further comment about the events that led up to the shooting.
Kevin Bodden fled the apartment as his younger brother crumpled, mortally wounded.
“He’s laying here on the floor,” the men’s mother told the dispatcher, who asked if he was breathing.
“He’s breathing, yes, he’s breathing,” the woman replied. “He’s not awake. I can’t get him to respond or anything.”
The dispatcher asked if she could turn her dying son on his back. But the woman, who later said she had to take her daily dose of insulin, answered that she did not know if she could move him, according to the 911 recording.
The woman said her son had been shot three times in the chest and twice in the back. She also told the dispatcher that the car Kevin Bodden fled in was registered to “my son that he shot.”
“It was the only car at the house,” she said.
Kevin Bodden made his first court appearance in Wake County District Court on Monday afternoon. He was outfitted in an orange and white striped jail jumpsuit and flanked by two attorneys with the N.C. Capital Defenders Office. Wake District Court Judge Keith Gregory told him that if convicted of murder, he could face the death penalty or life in prison without parole.
Wake County public defender Dewey T. O’Kelley, one of the attorneys that represented Kevin Bodden on Monday, declined comment after the hearing.
News researcher David Raynor contributed to this report.