JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A jury hearing a wrongful death lawsuit in the 2011 shooting death of a 20-year-old Jacksonville woman came back with a number Tuesday -- a big one.
The jury awarded Kalil McCoy's family more than $495 million.
McCoy was shot and killed by Frederick Wade after the two got into an argument while they were riding in a vehicle with four other friends. Wade claimed the gun went off accidentally, but he was convicted of second-degree murder and was sentenced to 45 years in prison for his role in McCoy's shooting death.
Kennard Mahone and Jonathon Brooks, who were also in the car when the gun went off, pleaded guilty to accessory after the fact for helping Wade carry McCoy's body into the wooded area, where it was later found.
McCoy, Wade, Mahone, Brooks and Alfred Mears were classmates at Andrew Jackson High School, the school McCoy had graduated from weeks before her death.
The McCoy estate wrongful death lawsuit filed in 2013 named Wade, Mahone and Brooks. Attorney John Phillips said Monday that the court had approved his request for punitive damages.
A jury decided altogether to award $495,123,680 to McCoy's estate.
McCoy's mother, Lynnette Roebuck, knows the civil lawsuit won't bring her daughter back, but it will acknowledge the pain she and her family have felt for more than seven years.
"You know, I was just thinking about my daughter, smiling, saying, 'Yes you,'" Roebuck said. "It's never going to be total justice for my daughter because she is not here."
In addition to $3,680 for funeral expenses and $10 million for "lost services" in McCoy's death, the jury award breaks down like this:
|For intentional distress||Punitive damages|
|Frederick Wade Kennard Mahone Jonathan Brooks||$150 million $75 million $60 million||$100 million $50 million $50 million|
Wade is still in prison and Phillips can't find Mears. The attorneys will pursue the money from Mahone and Brooks through a collections process.
The judgment left Adil McCoy, Kalil's twin brother, nearly speechless.
"I am happy for my family, where we can move on to the next step," he said.
Their family's attorney said the six-person jury has sent a message to anyone else who is thinking of committing a crime.
"It was six strangers (sending) messages that, 'Don't do that in Duval County or the memory of the decedent, the memory of the victim will forever seek justice,'" Phillips said. "Some of Kalil's last words before Freddie Wade shot her were, 'I am going to haunt you.' Well, justice haunted these boys and it's going to continue to haunt every evildoer in this town, in this state, if I and this family have anything to say about it."
The fifth person was named in the 2013 wrongful death suit, Pamela Vann, was Wade's aunt and the owner the vehicle he was driving. Phillips said her insurance company settled with the McCoy estate years ago.
Timeline of Kalil McCoy's death, legal proceedings
|June 21, 2011||Body of 20-year-old Kalil McCoy is found off East 31st Street in Jacksonville. She had been missing since June 19, after leaving a nightclub.|
|June 27, 2011||The body is positively identified as McCoy's and police say she was shot to death.|
|July 1, 2011||Frederick Wade is charged with manslaughter in McCoy's death. He tells police he was fooling around with a gun while driving an SUV and that it went off, killing McCoy. Three other young men were in the SUV and eventually each pleads guilty to being an accessory for helping to dispose of McCoy's body.|
|Jan. 31, 2012||Charge against Wade is upgraded to second-degree murder.|
|April 24, 2012||Wade's first trial begins. Two of the men charged as accessory testify against him.|
|April 27, 2012||Jury convicts Wade after deliberating for about 20 minutes.|
|Aug. 8, 2012||Judge sentences Wade to life in prison.|
|Aug. 19, 2013||Appeals court orders new sentencing for Wade, ruling the judge erred in giving him life in prison and that Wade was eligible for a range of 25 to life.|
|Oct. 9, 2013||Wade is resentenced to 25 years to life in prison.|
|Feb. 3, 2015||Appeals court throws out Wade's conviction and sentence, ruling that the omission of an instruction to the jury on manslaughter by culpable negligence was a fundamental error.|
|March 4, 2016||After the retrial is delayed several times, a judge denies a motion from Wade's lawyer to have his confession suppressed in his retrial.|
|Oct. 24, 2016||A new judge is assigned to Wade's retrial.|
|June 6, 2017||Wade's retrial on the second-degree murder charge begins.|
|June 7, 2017||Wade found guilty of second-degree murder for a second time.|