Charniese Brown was killed while talking to a 911 dispatcher on Monday

March 12, 2021 06:04 PM
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Ranon Brownlee
Credit: Kenosha Police

A 26-year-old Wisconsin woman was killed on Monday night, and a 911 call recorded her last moments.

Charniese Brown called 911 around 5:20 p.m. on Monday evening. As she pleaded for help, dispatchers could hear a scuffle and stabbing sounds before a gunshot rang out.

When police arrived at the scene just two minutes later, they found a gruesome scene: Brown's body lay on a stairwell exit from the home, as if she had been trying to escape. Six children who had been inside the home said that they had heard the argument. And 51-year-old Ranon Brownlee surrendered at the scene. He had injuries to his hands.

An autopsy later indicated that Brown had suffered multiple stab wounds. She was also shot once in the back of her shoulder.

According to WGTD-TV, Brownlee had accused Brown of cheating on him over the weekend. During a bond hearing, Kenosha County Deputy District Attorney Angelina Gabriele read text messages allegedly sent from Brownlee to Brown.

"You played me all weekend. Have fun tonight like it's your last," Gabriele quoted Brownlee as writing. "You already cheated. The crime is done. The state can have my kids. They're better off. I don't care what happens to me. Life is over to me. I'm done. I can't take it no more."

During the attack, Brown called 911 and screamed for help. "In listening to the recording, Ms. Brown can be heard screaming for help, crying, saying 'he's trying to kill me,'" Gabriele told the court.

In addition to her pleas for help, dispatchers could hear a scuffle and stabbing sounds. "The dispatcher asks Ms. Brown if she's still with her," Gabriele said. "There's silence, and then there's the sound of what appears to be a shotgun going off," she said.

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Brownlee initially said that he was acting in self-defense, but Gabriele told the court that the injuries to his hands were not consistent with defensive wounds.

Neighbors tell the Kenosha News that Brownlee and Brown had lived together in the home for about a year. They had a blended family of five or six children.

PEOPLE confirms that Brownlee has been charged with first-degree intentional homicide. He is being held on $1 million bond. He has not yet entered a plea, and the public defender's office did not immediately return PEOPLE's call for comment.