Thomas Ford McCoy’s face was still as the judge sentenced him to death for the premeditated murder he was found guilty of last year.
Before issuing his verdict, Circuit Court Judge Kelvin Wells went over the timeline, pointing out several “cruel, calculated” choices McCoy made.
“The human life at stake was considered in this decision, but based on the cruel, calculated manner of the premeditated murder of Curtis Brown, the defendant is sentenced to death,” Wells said Mon-day afternoon at the DeFuniak Springs Court-house.
Brown once worked with McCoy at the Coca-Cola Bottling Company. Witnesses reported during his December trial that McCoy was upset when he could not get a job at the company after previously resigning.
McCoy made multiple attempts to kill another co-worker and made a false call reporting a vending machine issue at North-west Florida State College on April 10, 2009, expecting that same man. When he saw it was Brown who responded, he decided to go ahead with his plan because “he hated” 60-year-old Brown too, Wells said.
While Brown was out getting supplies to fix the vending machine, McCoy stepped into the room and used all six rounds of his handgun to kill Brown when he came back.
“When Curtis Brown fell to the ground, the defendant stepped over him and drove away, proving that this was a cold and calculated premeditated murder,” Wells said.
After driving away, McCoy bought spray paint to change the coloring on his vehicle, bought an arsenal of weapons and camped out at a hotel in Tampa to wait for authorities so he could “go out in a blaze of glory,” according to witness testimony.
McCoy was taken into custody after a fire ex-change with Tampa police and was found guilty of the felony offense of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, before his murder trial.
McCoy entered a plea of guilty to the premeditated murder of Brown in July and demanded a penalty phase jury trial, according to a press release from the state attorney’s office.
This past December, a jury found McCoy guilty in an 11-1 vote in the death of Brown and recommended the death penalty.
As with all death penalty cases in Florida, McCoy’s case will be automatically appealed to the State Supreme Court.
Brown’s family sat silently in the front room of the almost empty court-room. As the sentence was read, tears slid down the cheeks of the men and women who knew Brown.
“Throughout this investigation and prosecution, no one ever spoke an ill word of Curtis Brown,” said Bobby Elmore, assistant state attorney. “To take a good man’s life for nothing more than hatred or your own misfortune is deserving of the death penalty.”
(source: Northwest Florida Daily News)