Oct 4, 2013 9:35 AM by Dax VanFossen - KAJ News
POLSON - A medical examiner says that a 28-year-old Elmo man was raped and violently murdered by his cousin, but the man who police say is responsible for the killing says he's not guilty.
Family members of the victim, Lawrence Kenmile, spoke about his death on Thursday.
"Yeah it was very emotional, it was hard, I have a pit in my stomach. To see him in person and it's...and to not be able to see Lawrence anymore, was probably the hardest part," family member Jessie McDonald.
Melvin Madplume, Jr. appeared in a Lake County District courtroom on Thursday to face two felony charges, with court documents showing that he's accused of deliberate homicide and sexual intercourse without consent, causing the death of Kenmille.
Madplume entered a plea of not guilty to both charges with his lawyer Noel Larivee present. Court documents state that authorities believe that Madplume sexually assaulted his cousin before drowning him.
Friends and family say the entire community is in mourning.
"It was our whole community that's broke down from it," Rikki McDonald said.
"Yeah he didn't just destroy a family, he destroyed a whole community. A lot of people loved Lawrence, with all their heart, he was a great man, a very good uncle, a very good dad, a great singer. It just destroyed us," Nichols added.
Because of the nature of the crimes and the nature of the two charges - the state has the option to pursue the death penalty or life in prison should Madplume be found guilty.
"I hope he goes to prison for the rest of his life, and I hope he suffers, and I hope he feels the pain that we feel. And I know that sounds mean, but I want him to feel what we feel," McDonald told us."
Attorney Noel Larivee also entered paperwork requesting that the Lake County Attorney's Office not be allowed to make any statements to the media regarding this case, other than hearing times and dates.