Crime and Courts
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New York

Alleged Murderer Mouths ‘You Know I Love You’ to Victim’s Mom at Arraignment

Kwauhuru Govan was arrested late last month in the 2005 killing of Rashawn Brazell

cold case arraignment
NBC 4 New York

What to Know

  • Rashawn Brazell, 19, left his mother's Bushwick apartment in February 2005 and was never seen again
  • His dismembered body was found in a bloody plastic bag in a subway tunnel in Brooklyn
  • Kwauhuru Govan now faces charges in his death; he is also charged with murder in the 2004 slaying of a 17-year-old Brooklyn girl

The man accused of killing and dismembering a 19-year-old Brooklynite in 2005, then dumping some of his body parts in a subway tunnel, mouthed, 'You know I love you,' twice to the victim's mother as she sat in Brooklyn court for the suspect's arraignment Friday. 

Kwauhuru Govan, 38, arrested in late February in the cold-case death of Rashawn Brazell, pleaded not guilty to a charge of second-degree murder. 

Desire Brazell was sitting in the second row of the courtroom when Govan was led in and out. The first time he commented, she closed her eyes, sighed and grasped something tightly in her hand. 

When she came out of court, she grabbed a table and shook her head, but said nothing to reporters. 

A defense attorney said Govan and Desiree Brazell are related by marriage, but the district attorney's office said it had no information to support that claim. 

Desiree Brazell fought for years to keep her son's name in the news as investigators hunted for his killer. She has described her son as a promising young man with a nose for fashion with a magnetic personality. 

Rashawn Brazell was last seen leaving his mother's Bushwick apartment in February 2005. Days after he disappeared, two MTA workers found a bloodied plastic bag with a foot and other body parts in a tunnel leading to the Nostrand Avenue station. More remains were located at a recycling hub for subway trash. 

The judge denied the defense request for bail Friday and Govan was remanded. At his last hearing, he caused an uproar in the court, flailing and screaming about being framed as officers had to hold him down. Friday's court appearance went far more smoothly, and Govan's attorney told NBC 4 New York he had explicitly asked his client not to act out. 

Govan is due back in court in May in the Brazell case. 

He is also accused of murder in another slaying, the 2004 death of 17-year-old Sharabia Thomas. Thomas' naked body was found inside two laundry bags on the side of alleyway near 130 Palmetto St. in Bushwick on Feb. 11, 2004. Govan was arrested in November based on new DNA evidence.

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