Kevin Gavin, 66, was arraigned Friday and charged with three counts of second-degree murder, according to a criminal complaint.
CNN reached out to her Gavin’s attorney, Douglas Appel, who had no comment.
“Mr. Gavin was familiar with many of the residents of the building and ran errands for some of the elderly tenants who resided there,” he said.
The first victim, Myrtle McKinney, 82, was discovered in November 2015 with a stab wound to the neck. That case had remained open with “very few investigative leads” until April 2019, when another woman, Jacolia James, 83, was discovered dead, Harrison said.
Forensic evidence recovered at the scene had pointed to Gavin as a suspect in the James case, Harrison said.
However, the NYPD could not find a connection between the murders until January 15, when a third woman, Juanita Caballero, 78, was discovered dead with a telephone cord wrapped around her neck.
Impact on the sense of public safety
Investigators were then able to find a “very definitive link” between Gavin and the three murders, Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said, without elaborating.
According to the criminal complaint, Gavin’s own statements link him to the three deaths.
The complaint alleges that Gavin “pushed Myrtle McKinney against a table with a steak knife and prodded her.” The complaint also alleges that he “strangled Jacolia James and stepped on her neck three times” and that “a telephone cable became tangled around Juanita Caballero’s neck” during a fight.
Gavin “took advantage of his relationship with these women that allowed him [him] in their homes, and committed unspeakable acts of violence against them, “González said.” I believe this arrest will have a profound impact on the sense of public safety in Brooklyn. “
González said he will convene a grand jury to hear the evidence in the coming days. He added that he is “sure” that the jury will decide to indict Gavin.
Investigators will also follow up on all leads on other incidents that may have involved Gavin, Harrison said.
Four cameras were installed in the lobby of the 25-story building last year, according to New York Police Housing Chief David Barrere. Although 65 additional cameras were supposed to be placed, Barrere said the pandemic hit the building’s budget.
Those cameras are now in the process of being installed, he said.
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Gavin has been placed in pretrial detention and a preliminary hearing is scheduled for January 27.