The man who authorities say walked into a Radnor Wawa store in late March and gunned down his ex-wife pleaded not guilty Thursday.
Brian Kennedy, 34, of Devon, who has been charged with first- and third-degree-murder, criminal homicide, reckless endangerment, and related crimes, will face trial. Police said he shot Stephanie Miller, 37, at the Wawa where they had for years picked up and dropped off their young son as part of a child-custody agreement.
Miller, an occupational therapist, had been at the Wawa on the night of her death believing her ex was going to drop off their 6-year-old son, authorities said.
In court for his arraignment Thursday, Kennedy said nothing when brought before Delaware County Judge Richard M. Cappelli. His lawyer, Michael S. Dugan, agreed to a June 24 pretrial conference with prosecutor Michael J. Mattson.
A trial date has not been set.
Around 8:20 p.m. March 28, a surveillance camera captured Kennedy as he backed his black BMW into a parking spot in front of the Wawa on Sugartown Road, where employees said he was a regular customer. From the trunk, he took out a DTI AR-15 semiautomatic rifle that he had legally purchased 12 days earlier, then walked into the store looking “angry and determined,” said an employee who witnessed the attack.
Kennedy was three feet from Miller in the store when he shot her up to six times in less than a minute, authorities said. Miller, whom friends and family called a loving and attentive mother to her son, was pronounced dead at the scene around 8:30 p.m.
Two hours later, Pennsylvania state troopers found Kennedy suffering from an overdose in his car at a park in Glen Mills. He was hospitalized for several days before he recovered and was transferred to the Delaware County prison.
For years, Kennedy had maintained a hostile relationship with Miller. He was bitter about not being able to spend more time with his son, court records show — he had custody of the child only three days a week — and he was incensed that she rebuffed his repeated attempts to reconcile.
Miller filed for a temporary protection-from-abuse order in February 2013 after Kennedy threatened her in her car, pushed her out of the driver’s seat while the vehicle was stopped, and drove off, leaving her without her belongings, according to the county court records.