WAXAHACHIE — For the past week, wounds reopened as a jury listened to victims and witnesses retell their encounters with former Maypearl Police Chief Kevin Coffey. That same jury, the one who first found Coffey guilty on Friday of sexual assault of and sexual indecency with a child, then sentenced him to 40 years in prison on Tuesday in the 443rd Judicial District Court.
With the complexity of the case, both the Ellis County District Attorney's Office and Coffey's defense attorney, James Jenkins, thought the verdict, and later sentence, determined by jury was just.
“All I’ve tried to do is to do my best, and I expect the jury to do their best, try hard and return a true verdict based on the law and evidence, and they did so. This case was very well tried. The state did a very good job in detailing it,” Jenkins said. “I never enjoy losing, but I don’t get to choose the cases that I am appointed to. If I could choose things would be different. But I have to do my best, and I know I did.”
Jenkins said he is going file a monition with the court to appoint Coffey a new attorney and file a motion for new trial with the court
Ellis County and District Attorney Patrick Wilson said the outcome, in this case, would not have been possible without the help of so many people working together.
“Well, I am very pleased with the outcome. I think that the evidence was so overwhelming in this case, not only of the specific crimes that he was charged with but of a lot of other disturbing deviant and criminal behavior committed by Kevin Coffey over frankly 20 years now. I would have been disappointed with less than anything than a maximum sentence in this case,” Wilson said. “I am glad that is what we got. I want to comment from the bottom of my heart on the effort of Texas Ranger Adam Sweaney, Investigator Loretta Black with my office and the prosecutors Ricky Sipes and Grace Pandithurai. I can’t imagine how many combined man-hours they put into this case over the year and a half to two years. It is a testament to the work that they have done. It is a testament to the cooperation of the multiple victims that have come forward.”
Wilson said he also wanted to thank the staff at the Ellis County Children’s Advocacy Center, more commonly known as the Gingerbread House, for assistance in the case and the counseling the organization provided the victims.
According to online records with the Wayne McCollum Detention Center, Coffey still faces charges in Johnson County for indecency with a child by contact and two counts of sexual assault of a child. According to indictments from Hill County issued on Nov. 8, 2016, Coffey faces charges of indecency with a child – exposing and sexual performance by a child
Wilson said a court date in the other two counties had not been set at this time.
“We need to sit down and talk amongst ourselves, the prosecutors in the other counties and the related victims, in those cases to discuss what the next set is. Part of the analysis going forward with the various prosecutors is, does this guy deserve more than 40 years in prison. I think that we all agree that he does but there are practical considerations. He is 51 years old. At the bare minimum he is going to serve 20 years in prison,” Wilson said. “My experience with these type offenders is they are going to serve more like 85 percent of their time even if they do make parole. You are looking at a guy who could be in his mid to late 70’s before he could make parole. This maybe a life sentence for him and so that maybe part of the analysis going forward. Do you subject our victim to another trial? Do we subject other victims to additional trials and the uncertainty? That is a lot for us to analyze going forward.”
Wilson said he has never encountered a calculated perpetrator like Coffey in his career as a prosecutor. He added that Coffey is a "predator" that used manipulative behavior to gain access to his victims.
“I see people want to fault the City of Maypearl for hiring this guy. This guy hid his conduct from the world for 20 years. This is nobody’s fault but Kevin Coffey’s fault,” Wilson said. “You saw the evidence. You see what a devious, manipulative predator he is. This is nobody's fault, but Kevin Coffey’s. This is why we are here today.”
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