Suspicious Minds travels to East Orange in Essex County, New Jersey, to investigate the tragic murder of Prom Queen teenager Aquilla Flood by her jilted ex-boyfriend Al-Muqqadin Means.
On June 5, 2013, 17-year-old Aquilla was discovered lying dead in a pool of blood on her bedroom floor. She had died from a single gunshot to the head, and there was no sign of forced entry.
It was just ten days before she was due to graduate from high school and just a few days after being voted the 2013 Prom Queen and a few days before her 18th birthday.
Aquilla had been a popular and successful student who was a member of a close family and had aspirations of attending the Fashion Institute of Technology.
Unfortunately, her dreams, along with her life, were cut short by her ex-boyfriend, Al-Muqqadin Means. Aquilla had ended their relationship in recent weeks, but he had kept harassing his former girlfriend.
When Aquilla made it clear that she was not going to the prom with him, Means began to behave in a threatening manner towards the girl he claimed to “love.” Aquilla had expressed her concerns to family members and had even asked to move apartments so he wouldn’t be able to find her.
A task force tracked Al-Muqqadin Means
After Aquilla’s murder, a federal task force was set up to hunt down Means, which successfully tracked him to an East Orange apartment. He attempted to flee from officers across a rooftop, but he was eventually apprehended and taken into custody.
Means initially denied the allegations and claimed someone else was responsible for the murder. Even before his arrest, he had told friends that someone else was to blame for the murder.
The prosecutors were never adequately able to determine how he gained access to Aquilla’s apartment, but it seems most likely that she left the door open for her killer.
In June 2015, Means agreed to a plea deal with the prosecutors, thereby avoiding a particularly lengthy sentence. He pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter and unlawful possession of a weapon. A month later, Means was sentenced to 24 years in prison, and he must serve at least 20 years before he’s eligible for parole.
At the sentencing, Means addressed the court by apologizing to Aquilla’s family and told them that he still loved his victim. “I just want to apologize to the Flood family,” he said before adding about his ex-girlfriend: “I love her, and I miss her.”
Aquilla’s mother, Nicole Flood, responded by addressing the murderer directly: “If you loved her, she would still be here.” She then added: “You took my life. I will never have that joy again in life, and you took that.”
More from Suspicious Minds
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Suspicious Minds airs at 9/8c on Investigation Discovery.