Local News

Man pleads guilty to killing father, Lee County boy

Posted March 22, 2010 2:30 p.m. EDT

— 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.