JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Hours after laying him to rest Thursday, the family of a slain Jacksonville 3-year-old learned that the man accused of shooting him in the head had been charged with murder.
Brian Littles appeared in court Friday morning on the murder charge, a day after little Connor Mickens was buried.
Littles, the ex-boyfriend of Connor's mother, had previously turned himself in to police on another charge. Connor's family said they learned of the added murder charge when they saw a breaking news alert about it Thursday afternoon as they were remembering the little boy's life.
“It started the emotions all over again. I guess the uneasy thing is that we are going to have to keep reliving it again,” Connor's aunt, PK Mickens, said. “Every time you talk about it brings up all different types of emotion.”
According to investigators, Connor was caught in the crossfire Oct. 19 when Littles came through an unlocked window of the boy's Broadway Avenue home armed with a revolver and started firing.
Police said Littles was trying to shoot the new boyfriend of Connor's mother, and that man fired back. Connor was hit in the head, and his mother was shot in the leg, police said.
Connor died at the hospital.
“This is not a dream. This is actual reality. Connor Mickens was actually shot in the head, and we are not going to see him ever again,” PK Mickens said. “That hurts. It is so painful.”
The family wants to avoid further pain, and hopes Littles, who is being held without bond in the Duval County Jail, pleads guilty.
If not, they know they will have to endure a lengthy court process that will make them relive their grief over and over again.
That grief spilled over Thursday as a tiny red casket passed by inside a horse-drawn carriage.