Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Grief flows at funeral for 5-year-old Kevon Wilson

ST. PETERSBURG — In a small white brick church, a young mother dressed in peach lace made her way toward a tiny white coffin topped with an aquarium of live lizards.

But as Sikkina Wilson, 22, neared the body of her little boy in the open coffin, she collapsed in the arms of relatives and wailed above the music: "Baby, please come back."

Grief roared in like a tornado at the funeral of 5-year-old Kevon Wilson as more than 200 people gathered at Mount Zion African Methodist Episcopal Church on Saturday.

Family members held each other and cried loudly as they remembered the boy, who was killed May 28 at the Pinellas Point apartments where he lived with his mother. That day, a 14-year-old girl got the keys to her mother's Volkswagen Cabrio, backed up and then drove forward into Kevon, pinning him against a concrete wall.

After a while, someone closed the coffin of the soulful boy who loved Spider-Man, SpongeBob SquarePants and lizards. Seeing his tiny body in a black pinstripe suit and a yellow cummerbund took their breath away.

Several ministers representing both sides of Kevon's family tried to make sense of the loss for friends and relatives gathered in the church. They said Kevon was taken away so others might recognize how much life is worth living.

"With the untimely death … of our little brother, he was exalted to the position of messenger of God," said James Muhammad, a student minister of Louis Farrakhan's in the Nation of Islam and a close friend of Kevon's father's family. "What is the message? Respect life. Rejoice in life."

"Yes, living requires responsibility," said the Rev. Clarence A. Williams, pastor of Mount Zion, where Kevon was in the choir. "There it is. Take it. Life is yours. The world is yours. Go ahead and make a difference for Kevon."

As family members grieved, they also expressed indignation that no one from the 14-year-old girl's family had contacted them. The girl apparently got her mother's keys to retrieve her school books and then tried to drive the car. She has not been charged in connection with the incident so far, and her name has not been released.

"As a family, we want an apology," said Krystal Green, 27, Kevon's aunt.

At Calvary Catholic Cemetery in Clearwater, Kevon was buried just steps from his paternal grandfather, who was buried there exactly seven years ago Saturday.

Family members grabbed red roses and purple snapdragons from the flower arrangement atop his small coffin to remember him. His toys — a plastic dinosaur, a stuffed Spider-Man — were stuck amidst the white peace lilies, yellow mums, peach roses and orange birds of paradise that traveled with him from the church in St. Petersburg to the cemetery in Clearwater.

"In life you must realize that God sends us blessings in disguise," said his uncle, Luther Green, reading from a prepared speech. "He was an angel before my eyes although he was only 5."

As his mother, who is pregnant, walked back to her limousine, she hugged well wishers and clutched flowers. "He's going to a better place, and he don't have to worry no more," she said.

Kevon's father, LeeAndre Green, 26, and his sister, Tivica Green Muhammad, 34, are trying to organize a gathering for the children at Pinellas Point Apartments, many of whom witnessed Kevon's death. Perhaps if there had been a place for the children to play at the apartment complex, this wouldn't have happened, said Kevon's aunt, Tivica Green Muhammad.

"These children witnessed as tragic a thing as you can ever witness in your life," said Kevon's grandmother, Ernestine McCrone, 51. "He wasn't just pushed into the wall. He was wedged into the wall. Who's going to help those children who saw that?"

Times staff writer Leonora LaPeter Anton can be reached at or 727-893-8640.


In his memory

The Kevon Wilson memorial fund has been set up at SunTrust Bank.

Grief flows at funeral for 5-year-old Kevon Wilson 06/07/08 [Last modified: Monday, June 9, 2008 1:28pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Video: Rays Souza on that oh-so-bad dive, and reaction from Twins fans


    What was Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. thinking when he made that oh-so-bad dive for a ball in the seventh inning Friday? Well, we'll let him tell you ...

  2. What was Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. thinking on that comically bad dive?


    What could Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. been thinking in the seventh inning Friday when he dove for a ball and came up yards short?

    Actually, he insisted after all the laughing, teasing and standing ovation from the Twins fans was done, it was a matter of self-preservation.

  3. Judge tosses life sentences for D.C. sniper Lee Boyd Malvo


    McLEAN, Va. — A federal judge on Friday tossed out two life sentences for one of Virginia's most notorious criminals, sniper Lee Boyd Malvo, and ordered Virginia courts to hold new sentencing hearings.

    A federal judge has tossed out two life sentences for D.C. sniper shooter Lee Boyd Malvo. [Associated Press, 2004]
  4. Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter's national security adviser, dies


    Zbigniew Brzezinski, the hawkish strategic theorist who was national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter in the tumultuous years of the Iran hostage crisis and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the late 1970s, died on Friday at a hospital in Virginia. He was 89.

    Zbigniew Brzezinski, former national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter, participates in Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on March 5, 2009, in Washington, D.C. [Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images]
  5. USF eliminated by UCF in AAC baseball; Florida, FSU, Miami win


    CLEARWATER — Roughly 16 hours after a ninth-inning collapse against East Carolina in the American Athletic Conference's double-elimination baseball tournament, USF returned to Spectrum Field presumably set for a reboot.

    It simply got booted instead.

    ’NOLES win: Tyler Holton gets a hug from Drew Carlton after his strong eight innings help Florida State beat Louisville.