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Man pleads guilty to killing father, Lee County boy

Posted March 22, 2010

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— A Sanford man pleaded guilty Monday to killing a Lee County boy almost six years ago and his own father in late 2008.

Kevin Lance Key, 27, of 521 Key Road, received two life sentences for the July 12, 2004, beating death of 11-year-old Bradley Way and the Oct. 12, 2008, shooting death of 54-year-old Eddie Leroy Key.

Authorities said someone broke into Way's home on JJ Lane near the Lee-Moore county line, was surprised to find the fifth-grader inside and beat him to death. His body was found inside an abandoned mobile home nearby.

Victor Gamble pleaded guilty in 2006 to murder, kidnapping and breaking and entering in the case and is serving a life sentence.

Gamble's fingerprints were found inside the mobile home, and investigators said he stole jewelry from the home and pawned it. He repeatedly implicated Kevin Key in the slaying, but Key, who lives about a quarter-mile from the Way family, denied any involvement.

Following Eddie Key's death, Kevin Key admitted to Lee County investigators that he took part in Way's death.

Kevin Key initially reported his father's death as a suicide, telling investigators that his father had put a rifle to his head and that he was unable to stop him from pulling the trigger.

When investigators pointed out that the evidence didn't match Key's story, he admitted his had killed his father in retaliation for years of abuse, authorities said.


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  • cocker_mom Mar 22, 2010

    really - because I support the death penalty I should move to Saudi Arabia or China? The death penalty is legal in this country in case you forgot. This guy was entitled to and received a trial and was judged by a jury of his peers (although that might be a bit insulting to the jury) He had counsel appointed for him to represent his interests.

    If you think this is how things play out in China or Saudi Arabia you need some lessons in civics.

    I believe that the death penalty insures that THIS PERSON does not kill again and that there is NO POSSIBILITY of parole. Just look at the left sentences that are being questions and people are looking to get "time off for good behavior".

    I simply don't want the possibility of this person to walk another free step for as long as he lives. The death penalty - a legal punishment - accomplished that.

  • VT1994Hokie Mar 22, 2010

    When a person can KILL a small 11 year old, and then his own father; then he is a sick, mean, a total menace to society. God help those family members. Pray for our state and Nation. We are living in a time as we read about some of the most killings of our people in the History of our nation. People are killing next door neighbors, shooting people at the clubs, malls, grocery stores, and etc.

    Lock these people up forever. We need more law enforcement personnel. We need more people to report things they see in our communities. We need to voice our beliefs to our elected officials. At least the little Way boy's parents can have some summary to this nightmare.

  • atappy Mar 22, 2010

    I went to high school with this guy. It's no surprise to me to see him here now in this situation. I am in no way defending or condoning what he has done, it's a terrible thing, but this guy had some serious issues when I knew him in high school.

    It was obvious at that time that he had a very rough home life. I honestly don't think that anybody ever gave this guy a chance. I remember on more than one occasion the teachers would just let him do whatever he wanted, just to avoid a confrontation with him.

    It's a sad story all the way around, for all parties involved. I can't help but wonder if I had attempted to befriend him and some how help him out, could this sort of thing could have been avoided...

  • shortcake53 Mar 22, 2010

    What a waste of skin and bone. All these years he has lived as he pleased knowing he took the lives of two others, one a small innocent child. Get the needle ready.........

  • AX Mar 22, 2010

    Send him to fight in one of the wars we are currently in.

  • killerbeautyqueen Mar 22, 2010

    @ Stonewall Brigade -- I agree. Only god can judge him. Personally, I hope they don't put him to death. I hope they let him sit in jail and think of his actions. Putting him on death row will just be another waste of our hard earned tax paying dollars.

    @DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT - I completely agree. With poverty and unemployment on the rise, people are commit more crimes as means of survival though it is sometimes unnecessary some people will not see any other way but to commit crimes.

  • Adelinthe Mar 22, 2010

    Sick, sorry sonova...

    There is no rehabilitating someone so low that they would beat an 11 year old to death, just for being in the wrong place at the wrong time, to say nothing of one who would kill their own parent.

    Just fry him.

    Praying they do.

    God bless.


  • Maddie girl Mar 22, 2010

    just zap him, he deserves no less !!!!!!!!!!

  • jimmycrackcorn Mar 22, 2010

    They should show movies of that innocent child on their prison wall with the audio of his laughter playing 24/7.
    And then every year they have to clean up his gravesite.
    Let them spend every moment thinking of their worthless lives and the damage they have caused.

  • Stonewall Brigade Mar 22, 2010

    God has already judged this child killer, and appropriate punishment will not escape Mr. Key.