Two indicted in June death of teen in NW Ocala
Tiasha Gaines, Lezarius Graham’s aunt, holds a portrait of her nephew on July 15, 2023, in northwest Ocala. [Andy Fillmore]
Two people jailed on unrelated charges were indicted last week for first-degree murder in the death of 17-year-old Lezarius Graham in June, according to the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.
Dexavion J’Neil Brown, 23, was indicted by a grand jury Nov. 15 on charges of murder in the first degree with a firearm, attempted first-degree murder and tampering with an electronic monitoring device. He has been held in the Lake County Jail since Sept.11 on two unrelated counts of attempted first-degree murder with a firearm and two counts of robbery with a firearm, the MCSO press release indicated.
Leilani Ashantae Brown, 19, whose online jail records list a Cape Coral, Florida, address, was also indicted by a grand jury Nov. 15 on a charge of murder in the first degree with a firearm and grand theft. She is currently being held in the Marion County Jail on charges of grand theft of a motor vehicle, battery and providing false identification to a law enforcement officer. Her booking date on the prior charges was Aug.3.
Both defendants are now being held on a no bond basis and Dexavion J’Neil Brown will be transported to the Marion County Jail and will be served with the indictments, the press release stated.
Graham’s body was found on the morning of June 7 near a wooded area in northwest Ocala. MCSO
Detective Kip Peterson found during the investigation that Graham was killed when he reportedly went to meet Leilani Ashantae Brown in a car to sell marijuana, according to the press release.
According to the news release, Dexavion J’Neil Brown allegedly hid in the trunk of the car, folded down the back seat and shot Graham twice before the 17-year-old left the car. Leilani Ashantae Brown told Peterson that Graham’s murder was “gang-related” and that Dexavion informed her there was “money on his name,” referring to Graham.
The detective’s investigation also led to the allegation that the burgundy Toyota Corolla with black spray paint marks that was used during the killing was stolen by Leilani Ashantae Brown on June 5 in Ocala, the press release stated.