Brooklyn ‘serial killer’ handyman indicted for three murders


Juanita Caballero was found dead in her apartment on January 14, 2021.

A grand jury has indicted a Brooklyn craftsman on charges of stabbing or strangling three elderly women who lived in his building.

Kevin Gavin, 66, was charged Tuesday in the Brooklyn State Supreme Court before Justice Vincent Del Giudice on first degree murder and three second degree murders. He pleaded not guilty.

Gavin lived in the Carter G. Woodson Houses, a NYCHA estate in the Brownsville section. He was doing odd jobs for money for the residents of his building, including the three victims, authorities said.

District Attorney Eric Gonzalez called Gavin a “serial killer” whose neighbors “trusted him and greeted him in their homes only to violate that trust in the worst possible way imaginable.”

Jacolia “Jackie” James was found dead in her apartment on April 30, 2019.

“These victims were mothers, grandmothers and beloved friends whose violent deaths at their apartment complex and in the Brownsville community had a chilling effect,” Gonzalez said in a statement. “We will do all we can to seek justice for the victims and the many family members and friends who have been left without loved ones.”

NYPD: Serial killer targeted older women in his NYCHA building

Gavin is accused of stabbing Myrtle McKinney, 82, in the neck with a steak knife on November 8, 2015, strangling Jacolia James, 83, on April 30, 2019, and Juanita Caballero, 78, with a phone cord on January. 14, 2021, according to the indictment. All three women were found dead in their respective homes.

A few days after Caballero was found dead, Gavin was being held on surveillance cameras at several retailers with her stolen debit and benefit cards, the prosecutor said in a press release.

Detectives from the 73rd NYPD arrested Gavin on January 21st. He waived his right to remain silent and answered her questions, according to Rodney Harrison, chief of detectives.

Kevin Gavin (center) escorted out of a police station on January 21, 2021. (FOX 5 NY File)

Gavin told police that he argued with each of the women over money they owed him and “fought each victim before they died,” according to the prosecutor’s office.

After his arrest in January, authorities said Gavin was already a suspect in James’ death based on “forensic evidence”. Prosecutors said Tuesday that the DNA evidence extracted from her body matched Gavin’s.

At Tuesday’s trial, the judge ordered Gavin to be held without bail until at least his next trial on July 6th. If convicted, Gavin could end up in prison.

NYCHA Murder Statement [Jan. 21, 2021]

Kings County District Attorney Eric Gonzalez

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