Kalil McCoy’s friends who dumped her body and tried to conceal her death seven years ago have something else over their heads.
While only one remains in jail as the triggerman in the 20-year-old’s death, a $495 million judgment filed against them Tuesday by a Jacksonville jury will “always” be hanging over them, according to her mother, Lynnette Roebuck.
Our Florida Times-Union news partner reports it took about an hour for the six-member jury to return its wrongful death verdict against the three named in the civil lawsuit as Lynnette Roebuck sat there, as she has for so many other hearings since her daughter’s death.
That includes two sentencings for Frederick Lee Wade, 19 when McCoy died in the car a group of friends were in following a night out on June 19, 2011. First sentenced to life in prison, he won a retrial, then a 45-year reduced sentence for second-degree murder.
But if Wade is ever released from prison, a massive financial judgment awaits him. That makes Tuesday’s verdict more meaningful to her and the memory of her daughter, Roebuck said.
“Wade will still have a little bit of life left. But this will always be over your head. If you get a dime, it is not going to be your dime. It will be Kalil’s dime,” the mother said. ”... He still gets an opportunity to get out of prison and live. He could be 70 on a cane walking around to a park or movies. But my daughter can’t do any of that. This will make a statement and let people know.”
The other men named in the lawsuit, Kennard Deshun Mahone and Jonathon Marichal Brooks, were 18 and 19 at the time. Both pleaded guilty to accessory after the fact. They were sentenced in August 2012 to one year in Duval County jail and 12 years of probation, according to court records. A final accessory sentenced the same — Alfred Bernard Mears IV, 18 at the time — was the least culpable and was difficult to locate before the statute of limitations ran out, so wasn’t named in the lawsuit, family attorney John Phillips said.
Phillips said the verdict marks “one of the largest” for an injury or death case in Florida history. But he admits it is unlikely the three will pay the entire judgment, calling collection “the difficult part.”
“That’s the question, and the jury asked it, but the message was sent regardless,” Phillips said. ”... We are in the process of hiring a collection lawyer to find and collect the funds.”
A longer version of this story that has a deeper look at the case's history is at jacksonville.com.