Loved ones continue to fight for justice for mother killed in crossfire in north Charlotte

CHARLOTTE — It was a painful day in court for the family of a young mother murdered while simply driving down the street in north Charlotte.

In 2019, a stray bullet from a shootout struck Kendal Crank while she was on the way to nursing school.

In court Thursday, one of the suspects charged, Marquis Smith, pleaded not guilty.

Kendal Crank’s oldest brother told Channel 9′s Ken Lemon that time heals all wounds and it has helped some, but other loved ones said seeing a suspect plead not guilty brought back painful memories.


The family knows all defendants are innocent until proven guilty but they said Crank should still be alive and anyone who participated in the shooting should be held accountable.

Jake Robinson said he sat on the edge of his seat as Smith faced a judge. He traveled from New York to be there after he pledged to get justice for his niece.

“I got stuff on my shoulders and I promised her and I can’t fulfill it until this is over with,” he said.

Robinson visited Crank in 2019 and left her home the day before she was killed. He said he regrets leaving.

“Her son said, ‘Uncle Jake, don’t go,’ and he grabbed my leg,” Robinson told Lemon.

The next day, gunshots rang out on North Tryon Street as Crank drove to her nursing class. Her best friend Porschia Jordan was driving in front of Crank, heard the shots and saw her friend afterward.

“Everyday I wake up, go to sleep. It’s something I’ve got to live with for the rest of my life,” she said.

Jordan was in court Thursday to hear Smith plead not guilty, and said those words pierced her ears and spirit. She said anyone who took part in the shooting had a hand in the killing.

Loved ones promised themselves to be at the hearings for the three suspects in Crank’s honor, all hoping that their presence can make things right for the young mother killed in a crime she had nothing to do with.

“I still feel her spirit,” said Crank’s brother Jarvis Crank.

Smith was one of three charged in the shootout. Family members told Lemon that the other two suspects, Adonis Smith and Tychicus Dobie, are expected to go to trial next year.

(WATCH BELOW: Judge denies bond for man accused in shootout that killed Charlotte mother)