Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

In Makia Coney Case, No Word about a Motive; A Summary of the Police Investigation Does Include Conjecture by Classmates

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

In Makia Coney Case, No Word about a Motive; A Summary of the Police Investigation Does Include Conjecture by Classmates

Article excerpt

Byline: PAUL PINKHAM

A lengthy summary of the Jacksonville police investigation into the slaying of University Christian student Makia Coney, released by prosecutors Wednesday, offers plenty of conjecture by classmates but no information about a motive.

Students told police about the relationship between the 17-year-old girl and the classmates charged with killing her - and mentioned odd behavior by both murder suspects after Coney disappeared from campus in February.

But about four pages of police interviews with suspects Charles Roy Southern and Connor Julian Pridgen were redacted from the document, which is permitted under Florida's public records law to avoid release of a confession. The Times-Union obtained the documents Wednesday night from its news partner, First Coast News, which received them from the State Attorney's Office.

Coney was reported missing Feb. 10 from the private Southside school and her body was located a few hours later in woods off Powers Avenue. She was shot twice in the head, and the reports indicated she was unrecognizable when a bicyclist found her. A partially smoked cigar and its wrapper were found nearby.

Testing by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement indicated fragments found in one wound were fired from a revolver recovered at Pridgen's home, the newly released reports say.

Additionally, tire tracks matched Southern's truck and students reported seeing the 17-year-old with a revolver the day before the shooting. Pridgen, 16, was seen on school surveillance video exiting a hallway with Coney the day of her killing.

Both teens were arrested two days later and have since been charged as adults with first-degree murder. They face mandatory life prison terms if convicted as charged.

Students told police both suspects dreamed of joining the military, and Pridgen even spoke of becoming a marksman in the Marines. …

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