FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, March 2, 2021

 

Brownsville Handyman Indicted for Killings of
Three Elderly Women Who Lived in His Building

Defendant Allegedly Did Odd Jobs for Victims,
Strangled or Stabbed Victims for Money He Claimed to Be Owed

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a Brownsville man has been arraigned on an indictment in which he is charged with first- and second-degree murder for allegedly fatally stabbing or strangling three elderly women who lived in his building in the New York City Housing Authority’s Carter G. Woodson houses during separate incidents between 2015 and 2021.

District Attorney Gonzalez said, “This defendant is an alleged serial killer who murdered three of his elderly neighbors who trusted him and welcomed him into their homes only to have that trust violated in the worst way imaginable. These victims were mothers, grandmothers and beloved friends whose violent deaths have had a chilling effect inside their housing complex and on the Brownsville community. We will do everything we can to seek justice for the victims and the many family members and friends who were left without their loved ones.”

The District Attorney identified the defendant as Kevin Gavin, 66, of Brownsville, Brooklyn. The defendant was arraigned today by Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Vincent Del Giudice on an indictment in which he is charged with one count of first-degree murder and three counts of second-degree murder. The defendant was ordered held without bail and to return to court on July 6, 2021. He faces a maximum sentence of life without the possibility of parole if convicted of the top count.

The District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, between November 8, 2015 and January 14, 2021, the defendant allegedly murdered three elderly women who lived in his building in the New York City Housing Authority’s Carter G. Woodson houses. The defendant allegedly performed odd jobs for the victims and other building tenants for money.

It is alleged that on November 8, 2015, at approximately 2 p.m., the defendant fatally stabbed Myrtle McKinney, 82, in the neck with a steak knife inside the victim’s apartment.

It is alleged that on April 30, 2019, at approximately 11:45 p.m., the defendant strangled Jacolia James, 83, inside the victim’s apartment.

It is alleged that on January 14, 2021, at approximately 10 a.m., in the course of robbing her, the defendant strangled Juanita Caballero, 78, inside the victim’s apartment by wrapping a phone cord around her neck.

A few days after the death of Ms. Caballero, the defendant was allegedly recorded on video surveillance in several different locations using stolen debit and benefit cards that belonged to the victim.

The defendant was apprehended by investigators from the New York City Police Department’s 73rd Precinct on January 21, 2021. The defendant allegedly stated that he argued with each of the victims over money he said they owed him and that the defendant fought with each victim prior to their death.

DNA evidence recovered from the body of Ms. James was also matched to the defendant.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Tim Gough, Chief of the District Attorney’s Homicide Bureau, with the assistance of Senior Assistant District Attorney Matthew Midey, also of the Homicide Bureau.

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