Man accused in beating death of grandmother in Rowan Co. to face additional charges

Man kills grandmother, beats grandson during Kannapolis home break-in

KANNAPOLIS, N.C. — The man accused of beating a grandmother to death inside her Rowan County home will face additional charges.

Authorities said the woman, Wanda Kennedy, was killed and her grandson was severely beaten during the home break-in.

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Authorities charged Brandon Paul Hodges, 37, of Pleasant Hill Drive in Kannapolis with first-degree murder in Kennedy's death. He is in jail under no bond.

Officials added additional charges on Sept. 19. Hodges' is also being charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon, felony breaking and entering, and assault with a deadly weapon.

(Brandon Paul Hodges)

Family members said the 67-year-old walked in on a robbery and found her grandson had been assaulted.

The grandson is expected to recover but Kennedy was beaten to death, family members told Channel 9.

Family members called it “surreal” as they watched investigators comb through Kennedy's home on Smith Road.

“We were just praying a moment ago and asking God to give peace to this family, because this is a devastating circumstance,” said Ken Mayfield, who said he is an in-law. “They're experiencing a tragic loss, and it’s one of the saddest things.”

Family members showed Channel 9 a hole in the house that was knocked in, as well as the damage.

The family said the biggest loss is the death of Kennedy.

“She would just reach out to people and love them, and everywhere she went, she had the love of the Lord,” Mayfield said. “It's one thing to have your mom pass away, but to have your mom pass away in this kind of situation is even more devastating.”

“The family right now, as you can imagine is devastated and just asking for prayers,” Mayfield said.

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