- Sponsored -
Share article

It took six months, a nearly $10,0000  award for information, and three law enforcement agencies, but authorities say they have arrested a man who they accuse of separately killing a homeless man and woman in separate shootings in January.

There is no sign of formal charges, but the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office – along with Miami-Dade and Miami police – released a statement saying Kenneth Allen Bent, 30, has been charged with two counts first-degree murder and one count of possession of a firearm by a felon.

Authorities made no connection between the arrest of Bent and the case of a stabbing on the Rickenbacker causeway last month. Police are asking for the public’s help in that case.

Invest in Local News for Your Town. Your Gift is tax-deductible

Bent is charged with killing Marie Noel, 60, and Bradley Griffith, 61. Both were homeless and living on the streets of Miami-Dade County.

“To some people, homeless individuals appear to be easy targets for attacks or abuse,” said State Attorney  Katherine Fernandez Rundle. “In Miami-Dade County, this will never be tolerated.”

Police believe Bent chose Noel and Griffith at random. Miami Police Chief Manuel Morales credited detectives, prosecutors and public tips – there was a $9,500 award – for zeroing in on Bent as the alleged shooter.

- Sponsored -

“The homeless are a vulnerable population, and we hope  this arrest brings closure to their families and loved ones,” Miami-Dade  Police Department Director Alfredo Ramirez said.

Griffith was shot in the early morning hours of Jan. 9 near the corner of NW 22nd Ave in Miami. Noel was shot a few minutes later 15 blocks away at NW 17th Ave.

In May, police released a video of a man in a purple tie-dye shirt, camouflage shorts and black sneakers, telling the public it was the man responsible for the shootings.

The killings were reminiscent of the crimes attributed to Willie Maceo, a real estate agent charged in December 2021 with killing a homeless man asleep on the sidewalk in Wynwood and seriously injuring another in downtown Miami by shooting him in the head.

Following the January murders, Ron Book – chair of the Miami-Dade County Homeless Trust – said in a statement that there “is no more heinous crime than bringing harm to any of the most vulnerable members of our community.” 

There remains a homicide of a homeless man still open.

Miami Police have not released any new information on the stabbing death of a homeless man Tyson Cash near the Rickenbacker Causeway on May 26.

John Pacenti

JOHN PACENTI is a correspondent of the Key Biscayne Independent. John has worked for The Associated Press, the Palm Beach Post, Daily Business Review, and WPTV-TV.

- Sponsored -

JOHN PACENTI is a correspondent of the Key Biscayne Independent. John has worked for The Associated Press, the Palm Beach Post, Daily Business Review, and WPTV-TV.