Prosecutors on Wednesday charged a man with murder in the fatal shooting of a 43-year-old mother and small business owner at a Linden Hills apartment Sunday night.

Johnny Leroy Brown, 50, is accused of killing Kesha Latrice Moore, resident of the Cove at Linden Hills apartments in the 4200 block of Sheridan Avenue S. She had asked Brown to move out of her place after several months of living together, according to a search warrant. Moore lived there for a year, and the warrant said their relationship was rocky.

Brown called 911 and said he was in an altercation with his girlfriend, she pulled a gun and it went off, according to newly filed charges in Hennepin County District Court. Investigators cast doubt on Brown's claims. Brown said the woman was dead and provided their location, but charges say the apartment was locked when police arrived. Officers forced entry and found Moore with a gunshot wound to her head.

Twenty minutes later, Brown called 911 again and said he was ready to turn himself in and provided his location, but pings on his cellphone did not place him in the area.

As family and friends mourned Moore, Brown was on the run until his arrest Tuesday night.

Brown turned off his phone after making the 911 calls, and the next day he went to a phone store to get a new number, charges say. Investigators tracked this new number to find Brown near 18th and Newton avenues N. in Minneapolis. He was in a vehicle with his new girlfriend at the time of his arrest.

He remains in custody and makes a first court appearance Thursday. An attorney for him is not yet listed.

Court records suggest the murder weapon hasn't been found and that Brown has made conflicting statements to investigators.

According to the charges of second-degree murder and unlawful gun possession:

Moore was the registered owner of a 9mm handgun that was missing along with her Lexus sedan when police arrived. A single 9mm discharged cartridge casing was found in her apartment.

Brown admitted to stealing the gun and vehicle.Police filed the search warrant to search the Lexus for evidence.

Moore's cousin told police that Brown had called and admitted to killing Moore. Brown and Moore's relationship had been rocky, the cousin said, which is why she asked him to move out.

Brown told investigators that he got into an argument with Moore because she accused him of cheating on her. Brown said Moore was pointing a gun at him when he turned around after making a drink in her apartment. He said he took the gun away and it went off when he accidentally bumped the trigger.

Investigators say this claim is false because that particular firearm, a Luger EC9s, has a trigger pull of 5 pounds, 5 ounces. Brown also denied moving the body, but a large blood smear indicates that Moore had been moved.

His accounts of where and when he called 911 were also inconsistent. He said he threw his phone out the window to elude police and couldn't remember where the gun was because he was drunk. Police scoured the area of 44th and Humboldt, where Brown said he tossed the gun, but a firearm was never found.

In two phone calls made from the police station, Brown said someone set him up. He also called his new girlfriend to deny that he was in a relationship with Moore, according to phone records.

Brown's criminal history in Minnesota includes three convictions in state court for assault, three for drug offenses, two for disorderly conduct and one for theft.

Federally, he was sentenced in February 2007 for illegal weapons possession and then again in May 2015 for escaping from custody while serving time for the weapons offense.

Brown has been prohibited from possessing guns or ammunition since 2001 when he was convicted of second-degree assault.

Six orders for protection and restraining orders have been issued against Brown between 2001 and 2021.

Rose DeCoteau said Moore, her longtime friend and extended family member, was a grandmother, mother, daughter and sister. "She was kindhearted, funny [and] a believer in education moving [people] forward in life."

Moore's LinkedIn account lists her as the executive director of Resilient Lives LLC, a home and community-based service provider for Minnesota seniors and those with disabilities. Her biography page says she held a master's degree in health administration from Governors State University and enjoyed playing Scrabble.

Moore was "just a loving individual," DeCoteau said. "A week before Christmas is a tragedy."

Star Tribune staff writers Paul Walsh and Liz Sawyer contributed to this story.