Mother Charged In Drowning Death Of Son, Friend

Saturday, October 23rd 1999, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Kathleen McCoy remembers clinging to limb and
watching helplessly as fast-moving floodwaters carried her
seven-year-old son and an eleven-year-old family friend to their

A wall of water had washed McCoy's Suburban off a Caldwell
County road.

But in a surprising legal twist, Caldwell County authorities
charged McCoy in February with manslaughter in the deaths of the
two children during last year's record flooding in the Hill

Authorities allege she was reckless by driving across a flooded
road and bridge.

If McCoy is found guilty, District Attorney Charles Kimbrough
has hinted he might ask a jury to rule the Suburban she drove was
used as a deadly weapon. That could mean a longer prison sentence
if she's found guilty.

McCoy remains in seclusion at her parents' home near Devine. She
declined comment, but David Benavides, Atwell's co-counsel and a
lifelong friend of McCoy's family, says the ordeal has taken its
toll on 27-year-old woman. McCoy is free on bond. Her trial is set
for January.

The D-P-S originally investigated the incident as an accident,
although a report generated later indicated McCoy was facing
charges of criminally negligent homicide.