Longform

Too Dumb to Die

Page 4 of 7

For several years before his arrest, Kevin lived on Fort Lauderdale Beach, sleeping on the sand with a girlfriend and sometimes staying at his Uncle James' duplex at 1433 SE Second Ter. in Deerfield Beach. He worked odd jobs, moving from house to house looking for maintenance work. "He cut a few yards out there...," James Moore recalled. "He probably get $5 then and get $5 when he get done. And like that's how he be doing all his life since I know him."

When Kevin knocked on Uncle James' door the night before the murder, he was high on crack, James recalled in a deposition. James suggested that his nephew sleep in the chair outside. The next morning, according to Kevin's statement to police, he woke up and smoked a rock of crack cocaine. He then strolled down SE Second Avenue toward Yvonne Moss' home.


Jennifer Oscarson, a 22-year-old woman who lives in Yvonne Moss' Deerfield Beach neighborhood, was on Fort Lauderdale Beach with friends on August 3, 2002, nine days after the murder.

As she and her friends walked down A1A near the Elbo Room, they saw a funny sight: a young black male walking up and down the sidewalk, singing songs and begging for money. "We were actually laughing because he was being a fool," she would later tell police.

The young man asked Oscarson for a cigarette. She pulled out a Black and Mild cigar. "As I handed it to him is when I caught eye contact with him," she explained. "And immediately I noticed the cross eyes."

"What's your name?" she asked him.

"Kevin," he replied.

Oscarson suddenly knew he was the man suspected of murdering her elderly neighbor. She had been one of several neighbors who told police about the suspicious lawn man. Oscarson knew this was the guy: "What more evidence did you need than that, a cross-eyed black guy named Kevin?" she told officers.

The young woman knew she needed a way for police to find him. She asked what kind of work he did. "He said that he did pool maintenance," Oscarson remembered. She asked him for a phone number, telling him that her mother might need some work done. Kevin left and returned with a tattered business card for his uncle's pool-cleaning business. At that moment, a Fort Lauderdale police cruiser pulled up. Kevin immediately took off.

After Oscarson informed the officers that the panhandler was in fact a murder suspect, Fort Lauderdale police chased him down and took him into custody. Rick Libman, a homicide detective with the Broward Sheriff's Office, interrogated the suspect.

"Did you do some work for [Yvonne Moss] a while back?" Libman asked him.

"Yes."

"What kind of work?"

"Yard work," Moore answered.

"All right, and did she pay you for it?"

"No."

"How much money does she owe you?"

"Thirty dollars."

"OK, and did you ever try and collect that money?"

"Yes."

"And what happened with that?"

"I didn't get it..."

"Tell me what happened from the beginning," Libman continued.

"I walked in," Moore answered. "I'm right there, and I killed her."

"OK, well, how did you get in the house?"

"The door was open."

"Was it wide open or just unlocked?"

"It was just open."

"OK, and when you go in, where do you first go?

"To her room..."

"Tell what you did first when you got in there," Libman instructed.

"I just raped her... I played with her private with my dick, and I fucked her, and then I raped her."

"You did fuck her?" Libman asked.

"And then I killed her..."

"How did you kill her?"

"Cut her throat..."

"Why did you cut her throat?"

"I did it because I was scared," Moore said.

"What were you scared of?"

"She might have woke up and told."

"And what happens if she woke up and told?" Libman asked.

"I would have been in jail."

Libman turned Moore's confession over to the Broward State Attorney's Office, which on August 23, 2002, filed felony charges for first-degree murder, armed sexual battery, abuse of the elderly, and armed burglary. At the same time, Assistant State Attorney Peter Holden informed the court of his intent to seek the death penalty. That decision would spark a yearlong battle between the State Attorney's Office and the Broward Public Defender's Office -- a legal clash that highlighted possible problems in Florida law.

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Trevor Aaronson
Contact: Trevor Aaronson