A Richmond County native is led down a path that ends with him being convicted of vicious crimes and sentenced to spend his life in prison.
Born and raised in Hamlet during the 1950s, Kenzell Evans took his life story and turned it into a 226 page tale of how he overcame obstacles that kept trying to tear him down.
In his book, “Breaking the Silence,” Evans, who has repeatedly said he was wrongfully accused and convicted, writes about how he was forced to become his own lawyer and challenge the court ruling that sentenced him to double life plus 15 years.
Evans was convicted of rape, kidnap and assault on a female, court documents show. Those records also say Evans raped and kidnapped the victim at gunpoint.
In the end, Evans spent less than a dozen years behind bars. Sentenced in 1971, the book tells about the steps Evans took to reduce his sentence and get out of prison in 1982.
Published in December 2012, Evans said it took him six years after he got out of prison to be comfortable enough to talk about what happened to him. It took him 25 years to complete the book.
“I never talked about it, I kept it to myself,” Evans said.
He said that being sentenced to prison “blew me out of the water. I thought I was dreaming.”
Evans said that it bothered and hurt him to be accused, because his grandmother always told him “to go to school and make something of yourself.”
“It took my freedom away and then labeled me,” he said of his conviction.
Evans credits his son for being the motivation he needed to get out of prison.
This is the first book Evans has written. He said the book seems to be gaining momentum and that “everybody has liked it.” He said he has received a lot of positive feedback from everyone who has read the book and he has already sold more than 100 copies.
The book is available for purchase online, at www.authorhouse.com, for $28.99 for a hardcover copy and $19.99 for a softcover copy. The book is also available for purchase at most major book retailers including amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.
Evans said he is planning on writing more books in the near future. He currently resides in Maryland with his wife.
— Staff Writer Laura Edington can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 18, or by email at email@example.com.