Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Parents say Highway Patrol failed in investigating their son's 1998 death

TAMPA — More than 10 years after their son died on Interstate 275 after a roadside brawl, Hugh and Jill McGinley have taken their anger to court.

In a lawsuit filed Monday in Pinellas County Circuit Court, the McGinleys accuse the state of Florida and Florida Highway Patrol of knowingly failing to properly investigate how their youngest boy died.

They also claim State Attorney Mark Ober ignored evidence that Highway Patrol's investigation was seriously flawed. All three defendants, the lawsuit says, violated the McGinleys' constitutional rights and protections.

Kevin McGinley, 21, died in the early morning hours of Feb. 13, 1998, after a night out with friends in Ybor City.

The Highway Patrol concluded he was hit by a UPS truck after he wandered into traffic following a fight at the side of southbound I-275 near the Howard-Armenia exit.

His parents, however, believe Kevin was intentionally pushed into the path of the truck by another young man. The Indian Shores couple has spent 10 years and more than a half-million dollars collecting evidence to refute the official findings.

"The lawsuit is basically our effort to get them to do what they're required to do by law," Hugh McGinley said "It's also very disheartening and very sad that it's necessary."

In March, the St. Petersburg Times highlighted a number of disparities between the Highway Patrol's investigation into Kevin's death and evidence collected by the McGinleys over the years.

Hugh McGinley said he has shared the same evidence with state agencies, including Gov. Charlie Crist's office, to no avail.

The lawsuit alleges that the Highway Patrol's explanation of the death was inconsistent with evidence and eyewitness statements; and the patrol intimidated witnesses, misrepresented and fabricated facts, and "knowingly filed false reports."

Though Ober undertook an independent investigation, the lawsuit says, he continued to insist the investigation was accurate. He let Highway Patrol investigators and investigators from his office give "false testimony and inaccurate information" to a committee charged with deciding whether to pursue a criminal case in Kevin's death.

Reached by phone Monday, Assistant State Attorney Pam Bondi said she was not aware the McGinleys had filed the lawsuit. A Highway Patrol spokesman could not be reached late Monday.

Represented by attorney Tom Reynolds of St. Petersburg, the McGinleys seek a jury trial and damages of more than $30,000.

>>Fast facts

For more

To see the Times' interactive special report about the Kevin McGinley death investigation, go to hillsborough.tampabay.com.

Parents say Highway Patrol failed in investigating their son's 1998 death 11/10/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, November 12, 2008 4:59pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Authorities say cocaine is making comeback in Florida

    Crime

    FORT LAUDERDALE — Drug enforcement officials say traffickers are bringing more cocaine into South Florida than at any time in the past decade.

    Traffickers are bringing more cocaine into South Florida than at any time in the past decade, officials say.  [Times files]
  2. Amid escalating Russia crisis, Trump considers major staff changes

    National

    President Donald Trump and his advisers, seeking to contain the escalating Russia crisis that threatens to consume his presidency, are considering a retooling of his senior staff and the creation of a "war room" within the White House, according to several aides and outside Trump allies.

    President Donald Trump is reportedly considering a retooling of his senior staff. [Doug Mills/The New York Times]
  3. Karen Lugo, 13, from Tampa, holds up her IPad Mini to take a picture of herself while relaxing in the sand alongside her mother, Karen Castro (on left), at the North Beach area of Fort DeSoto on Memorial Day (05/27/13). Karen comes to the beach with her family for holidays, she said. Also present was her older brother and three cousins.
  4. For starters: Rays at Twins, with Cobb pitching with a purpose

    Blogs

    UPDATE, 12:34: Cash said he has been pleased with Sucre's work and is trying to find playing time for him. ... Cash also said after reading Farquhar's comments about having trouble re-focusing after getting out of a jam and then going back out for a second inning he will factor that in to how he uses him. ... …

  5. To many Americans, Memorial Day has lost its meaning

    Nation

    ANNVILLE, Pa. — Allison Jaslow heard it more than once as the long holiday weekend approached — a cheerful "Happy Memorial Day!" from oblivious well-wishers.

    Sgt. Heather Lynn Johnsen, of Roseville, Calif., guards the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Friday, March 22, 1996, in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va. [Associated Press file]