WYOMING, Mich. — Kwan Winston’s family says the 27-year-old was a kind and loving father and boyfriend. Speaking to FOX 17 Wednesday, three days after Winston’s death, his family gathered around a camera, simultaneously grieving and rejoicing that the woman who is accused of killing him — the mother of Winston’s child — is being charged with open murder.
“She took a big piece of my heart. She took it,” said Winston’s mother, Tekeshon Nelson. “Our lives have been changed forever, and I mean forever. I’ll never be the same no more, never.”
“We’re still trying to grasp it,” said Winston’s great-aunt Lucille Nelson. “He was so mild mannered and so giving. You just couldn’t ask for a better son, a better nephew.”
Winston was caught up in a recent wave of violent crimes in Wyoming. On Sunday, police were called to a home on Taft Avenue in the city. They were there to do a welfare check. The mother of Sakina Muhammad, 21, who was Winston’s girlfriend of a few years and the mother of their 11-month-old daughter, had asked police to check on her. What they found instead was Winston, shot to death, and Muhammad and the infant missing.
They were both found the next morning — the infant was returned to family and Muhammad was arrested and held in custody while prosecutors decided her immediate fate. Wednesday, they announced one charge each of felony firearms and open murder, a charge that carries a life sentence, against Muhammad.
Court documents obtained by FOX 17 show a documented history of domestic violence in the relationship. On Jan. 16, 2022, Winston was arrested for assault with the intent to commit great bodily harm less than murder or strangulation with Muhammad listed as the victim. That charge was reduced, and he was arraigned on Jan. 19, 2022 on charges of aggravated assault and domestic violence.
Winston’s family told FOX 17 that the filing and dropping of charges was something Muhammad did frequently. They say sometimes she wouldn’t even show up to scheduled court dates.
“Some of those were dismissed, or she wouldn’t even come to court,” said Lenika Wilson, Winston’s aunt. “Kwan never reported any of the things she did to him.”
In fact, Winston’s family says it was oftentimes Muhammad who was the aggressor.
“So aggressive; I didn’t like the way she treated my son at all,” said Tekeshon. “That girl never really cared about my son. Just what he could do for her. She didn’t care about him.”
Tekeshon recounted several instances where Muhammad grew aggressive or violent with members of the family, or Winston himself, including one time where Tekeshon claims Muhammad kicked out several windows in her Wyoming home.
Police are investigating it in the simplest of terms: as a homicide case.
“In any case, we have to take what was said and match it to what the evidence indicates,” said Wyoming DPS Chief Kim Koster. “That’s really our role is to get to the truth and get to what really happened that day. I know there’s a lot of other issues surrounding this case but really what it comes down to is what happened in that day, on that day, in that moment, and that’s what our role was in this case.”
Winston’s family, amazingly, says they’ve already forgiven Muhammad. They’re looking forward to their day in court when Muhammad will face one count of felony firearms — a two-year charge — and a count of open murder, a charge that carries a possible life sentence.
“We feel like we’re getting some type of justice,” said Lenika Wilson. “It’s a start. And we thank God.”