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Details Into the Murder of Anthony Cruz’s Daughter and Her Mother (full story)


Karen Marie Lyle was a newlywed, killed by a husband of 10 months who is accused of shooting her and confessing the crime to a 911 dispatcher Monday in Sunrise, police said.

Lyle, 40, had a 15-year-old daughter, Shanice Smith, also shot and killed at the family’s home in the 7700 block of Balboa Street in Sunrise, police said.

It is not yet known when the mother and child were killed.

The medical examiner said they had been dead more than 24 hours, Sunrise Police Officer Michelle Eddy said Tuesday. Police are awaiting the results of the autopsy examinations.

Kevin Kemoy Nelson, 32, was arrested Monday on two counts of suspicion of murder without premeditation after a nearly five-hour standoff with police and SWAT officers, who negotiated with him from outside the couple’s two-story townhouse.

Kevin Kemoy Nelson, 32 Accused Murder Of Shanice Smith – Jamaican Entertainer Anthony Cruz’s Daughter and Her Mother Karen Marie Lyle

After Nelson surrendered, police found Smith’s body lying face up on the top staircase landing in the townhome. There was a gunshot wound in the teen’s left cheek.

Her mother was found lying in a similar position in the master bathroom, a gunshot wound to her forehead.

Both bodies were covered with blankets, and police could not immediately see other possible injuries, a report said.

The tragic discovery began around 11:15 a.m., when a 911 operator received a call from a man who police say was Nelson.

According to the recording the agency released Tuesday, Nelson reported “shots fired” and gave the address, prompting police to go to the home.

“How long ago were shots fired?” the dispatcher asked.

“Friday night and just now,” Nelson said.

“How many shots were fired?” she asked.

“Several shots,” he said.

“Did you hear them or see anybody with a gun?” she asked several times.

“Yes I did … I … shot …” he said.

“Sir? Sir? Did you see this person with the gun?” she asked.

“I’m the person with the gun,” he said.

“You’re the person with the gun?” the dispatcher asked.

“Yes,” he said.

“Who got shot?” she asked.

“Karen Lyle and Shanice Smith,” he said.

Asked where they were at that moment, he replied, “Dead,” before saying “bye” and hanging up.

The dispatcher tried to call back twice but reached voicemail.

Investigators learned from a next door neighbor that he heard shots fired about 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Friday. The neighbor saw a man and young boy leave the Lyle-Nelson home and drive off in a Honda. The neighbor didn’t report what he believed he heard to police, said Eddy, the police spokeswoman.

Also Friday night, Nelson dropped his 8-year-old son off at a sister’s house. He told the sister he had argued with Lyle and shot and killed her, but then told his sister he was just kidding, the police report said.

About two hours after Nelson called 911 on Monday, he sent a text message to Kenroy Walker, 58, of Sunrise, a brother of Karen Lyle. It read, “Shanice, Karen and me are dead. The cops is here and the news crew,” a police report said.

The dispatch call center identified Kevin Nelson’s cellphone number as the one that connected with the 911 dispatcher. The phone was “pinged” against cell towers to find its location, leading officers to the Del Rio Village complex, east of North University Drive and north of West Oakland Park Boulevard.

After determining Nelson was inside, Sunrise SWAT officers tossed a “throw phone” — a cellphone equipped with a camera — through a door. It enabled a crisis negotiator to see the interior of the home and to see that Nelson was continually waving a semi-automatic handgun while they talked, the police report said.

Nelson told Sgt. William Gordon he didn’t want to hurt anyone else that day, and “I’m afraid to get hurt,” according to the report. “I hurt people, I’m a failure,” and “I’m going to prison forever.”

Before his capture, Nelson agreed to leave the gun at the top of the stairs. A Taurus 9 mm handgun was recovered after Nelson’s arrest and it is believed to be the murder weapon, Eddy said.

Karen Lyle came to America from Jamaica when she was 4, her brother Kenroy Walker said Tuesday. She attended Boyd H. Anderson High School in Lauderdale Lakes and worked as a manager at a nursing home, he said.

“I feel terrible,” Walker said. “I can’t eat.

“She was a very smart girl, a very bright girl” who he said attended The Faith Center in Sunrise.

Lyle has a large extended family with relatives in Florida, New York, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois and Jamaica, Walker said.

He also said he enjoyed doting on Shanice and cooking barbecue for them at family gatherings. “They were very close,” he said about the mother-daughter bond.

Shanice was Lyle’s daughter from a prior relationship, Walker said. He said he didn’t attend his sister’s wedding to Nelson, held in Plantation in April 2016.

“He was a good man, he worked and provided,” Walker said about Nelson, who he said worked for Sears. “But I think he was jealous and they were jealous of each other. One time before the wedding they were arguing, and I told them they should not be married.

“I didn’t go to the wedding, too much conflict,” Walker said. “It wasn’t a good match.”

In October, police investigated a domestic disturbance call at the couple’s home. Police found Lyle and Nelson arguing and said Lyle alleged her husband had thrown bleach all over their bedroom furniture. When she tried to get the bleach away from him, he punched her in the face multiple times. Her face was cut and her shirt was torn, an arrest report said.

Smith was present during the fight, police said.

Nelson told an officer at that time that he did not strike Lyle and that he did not know how marks got on her face, according to the report.

Nelson was taken into custody on suspicion of battery, touch or strike, domestic violence. The case was dropped by the state attorney’s office in November.

Photographs were not of “evidentiary value,” and Lyle didn’t respond to a follow-up effort by law enforcement or return phone calls or reply to a letter from a prosecutor, according to a memo that closed out the misdemeanor case.

“No way to file [charges] without the victim,” Prosecutor Barbara Mitchell Driscoll wrote.

Tuesday afternoon, Nelson wore a red jumpsuit and his wrists and ankles were shackled when he appeared in Fort Lauderdale magistrate court.

Broward County Judge Michael Davis ordered Nelson to be held without bond. Davis also ordered Prosecutor Eric Linder’s request that Nelson not contact witnesses in the case, including his son and the sister who cared for the boy.

Sun Sentinel

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