Killer sentenced to 45 years after 2nd conviction

Frederick Wade convicted last month in death of Kalil McCoy

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Frederick Wade was sentenced Thursday afternoon to 45 years in prison in the 2011 shooting death of 20-year-old Kalil McCoy.

Wade's first conviction of second-degree murder of his former high school classmate was overturned by the 1st District Court of Appeal, which cited faulty jury instructions.

Last month, a jury deliberated for less than four hours before convicting Wade for a second time.

Wade must serve a minimum mandatory sentence of 25 years before he's eligible for parole in the 45-year sentence.

Lynnette Roebuck, McCoy's mother, said that after six years of praying, "We finally got justice for Kalil McCoy. Finally."

Though it's a lesser sentence, Lynnette Roebuck told News4Jax that she's content with the sentence handed down by Judge Steven Whittington. 

"At first, I was kind of sad because I wanted him to get life. I really did. But then, as I thought about it -- 45 years -- that's OK because he will be 70 years old when he gets out" Roebuck said. "It's OK because it's over. I don't have to see his face again. I don't have to hear the defendant's name anymore."

According to police, Wade and three friends were with McCoy in Wade's SUV after leaving Club Plush on April 23, 2011, when there was an argument because McCoy wanted her window rolled up in the SUV. Wade was accused of pulling out a handgun and pointing it in McCoy's direction. Wade claimed that as he was pulling the gun out, it discharged, hitting McCoy in the head.

Her body was dumped in a field.

The three other suspects -- Kennard Mahone, Jonathan Brooks and Alfred Mears -- all pleaded guilty to being accessories after the fact after they admitted they helped dispose of McCoy's body.

Wade claimed the gun went off by accident, but prosecutors said that while he might not have planned to kill McCoy, he pulled a gun during the fight and it went off, killing her.

Wade was initially charged with manslaughter, but the charge was upgraded to second-degree murder.

Wade's childhood friend, aunt and mother spoke on his behalf Thursday, describing him as a good guy who looked out for others.

Wade made a brief statement, saying that what happened was an accident and that he hopes he can sit down with McCoy's family and explain what happened. He said he knows they might not forgive him, but that he loved McCoy.

But McCoy's mother said she doesn't accept Wade's apology and that if he really loved her daughter, he would have taken her to a hospital. McCoy's twin brother said the shooting, cover-up and legal process have been hard on him and his family.

Roebuck now plans to focus on honoring her daughter's life by opening up a dance studio and clothing store in McCoy's name. 

"We are going to celebrate her life," Roebuck said. "We didn't get exactly what we wanted, but I'm OK."

About the Authors: