Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Slain man was mentor, medical marijuana business owner - Kansas City Star

A 44-year-old man who was among three people killed in their Oklahoma City home was the owner of a medical marijuana dispensary and founder of a mentorship program devoted to helping young men escape their criminal pasts.

The body of Elijah Malachi Mothershed was discovered Monday in a home on the city's northeast side along with the bodies of Carnesha Patrice Powell, 35, and Powell's 15-year-old daughter, Roshawna Stevens, Oklahoma City police Sgt. Gary Knight said Tuesday. Investigators believe Mothershed and Powell were in a relationship.

Knight said officers discovered the victims' bodies about 12:30 a.m. Monday while conducting a welfare check. A suspected cause of the deaths has not been released and no arrests have been made in the slayings.

The house is the same one where a 64-year-old woman was found dead nearly a year ago in a case that Knight said remains unsolved. He declined to speculate on a motive for the slayings but said there is no indication that the death of Wanda Skanes, whose body was found Feb. 7, 2018, and the latest killings are related.

State Rep. Jason Lowe, an attorney who represents Mothershed's family, said relatives were stunned by his death and are trying to understand why it happened.

"He was a very vocal person in the community, a great guy," said Lowe, a Democrat who represents the city's northeast side. "He believed in rehabilitation instead of incarceration. We're just heartbroken for the family."

Mothershed was the owner of Cannabis Aid, one of hundreds of medical marijuana dispensaries that have been licensed in the state following voter approval of medical cannabis in June . Cannabis Aid opened its doors in October.

"He had just started that business and was very excited about it." Lowe said.

Telephone calls by The Associated Press to the dispensary's listed phone number were not returned Tuesday. A note on the dispensary's Facebook page read: "Do (sic) to unfortunate circumstances we will be closed today and Tuesday. Please keep our family and team in your prayers at this time."

Published reports indicate Mothershed founded the Made Aware Now (M.A.N.) 101 program in 2010, a program that strives to help young men better themselves. M.A.N. 101, a privately funded organization, began working with the Oklahoma County District Court in 2013.

Oklahoma County Court Clerk Rick Warren said the program was not directly sponsored by the court system and he was not familiar with it.



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