Woman charged for ties to fatal robbery

Published 8:21 am Tuesday, September 29, 2015

UPDATE: Corrected the spelling of Kavina Ward

Berrien County prosecutors announced Monday they have filed charges against a woman who is accused of aiding last year’s fatal robbery at the Long John Silver’s restaurant in Niles, according to a news release from the office.

Kavina Ward, 27, of Elkhart, has been charged with armed robbery by the county following her arraignment last week in Berrien County court. Her bond has been set at $50,000.

Ward, a former Long John Silver’s employee, is suspected of dropping Eddie Macon Jr. nearby the local fast food restaurant, which the Niles man robbed on May 2, 2014. Prosecutors also believe she communicated with the man before the robbery about the area surroundings.

The crime itself took place around 11:09 p.m., when 911 received a call reporting a robbery at the Long John Silver’s restaurant, located at 1015 South 11th St.

Three police officers responding to the call entered the building from the front public entrance door. Other officers responded and set up a perimeter outside the premises.

Officers inside the building in the customer service area of the restaurant were able to visually confirm a robbery was taking place in the rear employee area, that employees were present in that area, and that the robber was heading towards the back door.

Officers on the perimeter to the rear, or east side, of the restaurant became aware of the suspect’s impending exit, unholstered their duty weapons and waited. Several officers outside saw the rear exit door open and close quickly.

During that brief opening, one officer saw that the suspect had a bag in his left hand and nothing in his right hand. When the door opened again and the suspect exited, that officer could see he now had a pistol in his right hand.

Upon exiting, the suspect panned the firearm across the parking lot from officer to officer and began running northeast towards a residential area. Concerned for their own safety and the safety of others, and to stop the fleeing robber, three officers fired their weapons as the suspect ran. He fell to the ground whereupon officers recovered his pistol, secured him and began medical assistance. Officers performed CPR on the suspect until ambulance personnel arrived. Macon was transported to Lakeland in Niles where he was pronounced dead shortly thereafter.

A preliminary exam conference for Ward is set for Wednesday, with a preliminary examination hearing set for Oct. 6, at the Niles Courthouse.

Agencies involved in the investigation included the Niles Police Department, Berrien County Sheriff’s Department, the Michigan State Police, Niles post, Fifth District Headquarters, and Forensic Science Division.