Medical examiner rules Keoshia Ford's death a homicide

LeKeshia Matthews {CQ} smoothes down daughter Keoshia Ford's {CQ} eyebrows Friday morning. Ford's family rose bright and early to take her to a doctor's appointment at Erlanger on Friday morning.

The death of a 17-year-old girl who survived four years after she was wounded in a gang shooting in March 2012 has been ruled a homicide, according to the Hamilton County Medical Examiner's office.

Keoshia Ford died Dec. 27 from conditions that resulted from the gunshot wound to the head she received as a 13-year-old, according to a preliminary medical examiner's report.

The homicide ruling opens up an avenue for Hamilton County District Attorney Neal Pinkston to bring new charges against the shooter, an unidentified man who was 17 at the time of the 2012 shooting and was sentenced to two years for his role.

Pinkston is currently reviewing the case and has not decided whether to bring new charges, his spokeswoman, Melydia Clewell, said Tuesday.

An innocent bystander, Ford was shot on March 17, 2012, while playing outside near 2012 Bennett Ave. She survived but remained mostly comatose, unable to speak, walk or eat. She was unresponsive for years until she began to respond to voices earlier this year, said her mother, Lekeshia Matthews.

She required a nurse's constant care and began having respiratory issues during the last few months, Matthews said.

Ford's funeral was Friday.