Sunday, January 4, 2009

He Seemed Like Such A Nice Neighbor

via: Newsday

James Caldwell, 49, of Mastic Beach, is led out of Sixth Precinct while charged with killing co-worker Kevin Koch and leaving the body in a car trunk at KC Towing company in Coram. Walking out of precinct, Caldwell said, "They beat a confession out of me, 14 hours."

I need to ask, does this man look like he was beaten for 14 hours? I'm surprised he didn't carve himself a "SCPD" on his cheek, backwards.

He has an accomplice, Steven Browne, 29, of Jeanatta Avenue. More info as this story develops.

Authorities say 49-year-old James Caldwell shot Koch twice, once in the chest and once in the back. They say Caldwell lived in a trailer in Koch's yard in Mastic Beach and worked at the victim's towing company, KC Towing, in Middle Island.

Caldwell pleaded not guilty Sunday in First District Court in Central Islip.

Kerri Kelly, Suffolk County assistant district attorney, says Koch was shot in the parking lot of KC Towing on Dec. 20 and found four days later.

Caldwell's lawyer, Craig McElwee, says his client is innocent despite the prosecution alleging that he confessed.

"He advised that police did force him to sign a statement. He's not sure exactly what's in there," Craig McElwee says.

A second man, 29-year-old Steven Browne of Mastic Beach, also was arrested and charged with hindering prosecution. Police say Browne, who is a friend of Caldwell, helped get rid of the gun, clothes and Koch's body. Browne also pleaded not guilty Sunday.

Browne's lawyer, Donald Mates, says Browne was forced to help his friend.

"There was a man there with a gun. He witnessed a crime, and he was forced into cleaning up afterwards," Mates says.