As he worked on scaffolding approximately three stories above World Trade Center Building #7 on Vesey Street, ironworker Kevin B. McDevitt, Sr. felt the heavy pipe scaffolding vibrate, lurch and sway. It was 9/11 in New York City. Since the building on which they worked blocked their view of the World Trade Center’s South Tower, the ironworkers could not see the hijacked American Airlines plane slam into it. But they knew something was wrong and immediately descended the scaffolding.
Then, 18 minutes later McDevitt and the others watched incredulously as United Airlines Flight 175 crashed into the North Tower. And then McDevitt Sr. began to run for his life. As he fled Ground Zero heading uptown, McDevitt gasped for breath, inhaling fumes, dust, and tiny bits of debris. Stabbing leg muscle cramps slowed him to a walk. That was agony. Then, as a first responder he continued to assault his body by working at Ground Zero for many weeks. Today, retired on disability, he also receives medical care as part of a WTC class action settlement.
Kevin Sr. and Theresa McDevitt
Atlantic County Courthouse August 2014
But if Kevin Sr. thought a couple of hours after 9/11 were agony, nothing could compare to the day-in-day-out reality that has not abated for a moment since he and wife, Theresa, were informed that his namesake son was found dead in an Atlantic City motel room, five blocks from the casino hotel at which he was registered.
Kevin Jr., a physically fit former high school football player, volunteer firefighter, and criminal justice major hoping for a law enforcement career had been found dead of a multi-drug overdose sometime after 4 AM on Aug. 31, 2010 in the seedy Atlantic City, New Jersey, South N. Carolina Avenue motel.
Kevin in High School
Heroin, cocaine, benzodiazepine, marijuana? Impossible, the McDevitts said then and now. Had the drugs been forced on Kevin Jr., or was he tricked into taking them?
Up to this moment no one has ever stepped forward, not friends, not acquaintances, not police, not prosecutors…to provide any evidence or personal observation that Kevin Jr. had ever experimented with hard drugs…let alone abused heroin or cocaine. Ironically, a year before his death Kevin Jr. had broken a longtime friendship when a boy he knew began dabbling in drugs.
He Was Coming Home
The Atlantic City Police Department was told that Kevin Jr.’s family had never observed any aberrant behavior. How could he be dead from drugs when he had called his mother five times, the last at 3:13 AM August 31st, to say he was taking the bus home (his car had been damaged on the way to Atlantic City with which he was not familiar) but then somehow ends up dead, dressed only in his boxer shorts in a Rodeway Inn motel room? That Rodeway Inn is five blocks from the Tropicana Hotel where he and three friends had registered. Kevin Jr.had an argument with the friends and left the Tropicana at approximately 4 AM.
This nice-and-naive kid with absolutely no criminal history, no drug history, no hint of drug use, from upstate Orange County, New York, lived at home and interacted with his parents several times a day. He was going back to college in a couple weeks and, according to his parents and family friends, never exhibited a scintilla of drug use or aberrant behavior that might have hinted at drug use.
Baby Kevin and His Cousin
Kevin Sr. and Theresa are of the opinion that the Atlantic City police had their reasons not to publicize Kevin Jr.’s death or to use those first critical 48 hours to begin aggressively finding answers.
Why did the local newspaper of record, The Atlantic City Press, to the MsDevitts’ knowledge apparently never receive a news release or an oral report from the police department’s public affairs office announcing the death of the young New York State man?
It’s 2010 in Atlantic City. The casino town was a lot busier then. (Today several casinos are poised to close, but even then “AC” had competition.) What good would befall casinos, related businesses, or city tax coffers by announcing another out-of-state visitor’s death in the high-crime seashore city as the Labor Day holiday approached?
The McDevitts believe that properly publicizing and investigating the death immediately after Kevin Jr.’s body was discovered might have brought forward critical evidence. Someone who read or heard about Kevin Jr.’s strange death, someone on the boardwalk, working at a hotel, tending bar, etc. might have seen Kevin Jr. with the alleged human trafficker and drug dealer who rented the room in which the young man’s lifeless body was found.
TD Bank Visa Debit/Credit Card Gone
Kevin Jr.’s cold, lifeless body, clad only in undershorts, was found in the motel room rented by the alleged human trafficker and alleged drug supplier. Kevin Jr.’s TD Bank Visa Debit/Credit card was gone. (More than $6,000 in cash advances and purchases had been made as Kevin Jr. lay dying or after his death.) Kevin Jr.’s mobile phone, from which a 4:52 AM suspicious call was made to an Atlantic City number, was gone, as was his ersatz “suitcase,” a shoebox containing a change of clothes and expensive new Air Jordan sneakers.
It appears from the motel registration and comments that Kevin Sr. heard right after Kevin Jr.’s death that the police knew right away who rented the two rooms in the Rodeway Inn on South N. Carolina Avenue, including Room 207 in which Kevin Jr.’s body was found: the alleged human trafficker. He was with another man that neither police nor Atlantic County prosecutors have ever identified to the McDevitts, said they were seeking, or explained to the McDevitts in nearly four years. The alleged trafficker and the mystery man were seen quickly leaving the two-story cinder block motel right before Kevin Jr.’s body was discovered, according to the Atlantic County Medical Examiner’s report.
Kevin at Seaside Park, Summer 2009
Dewight Montrell Greer, a/k/a Stacey Greer, a/k/a Romale Tyson, a/k/a Snake, was a 6’3,” 218 pound fugitive, according to the New Jersey State Police’s 2013, “12 Most Wanted” poster. Greer, now sits in the Atlantic County Jail awaiting trial on two indictments related to the McDevitt case that, if convicted on all counts, could subject him to decades of incarceration. But inexplicably, the McDevitts say, Greer has not been charged with murder. Instead, among other charges, he faces trial for “Strict Liability,” a seldom-used statute under which a person who provides drugs that kill another could, upon conviction, face as much as 20 years’ imprisonment.
Some legal experts believe the prosecutor’s office, if it negotiates pleas with all three defendants, with Greer receiving 15-or-more years, will have succeeded in getting justice for Kevin Jr., inasmuch as trying a case in which one alleged, and one convicted prostitute testify against the alleged human trafficker could be problematical. Only three (possibly four) persons know what happened in Rooms 107 and 207.
Would the investigation have been handled differently if Kevin Jr. had been a rich, influential yacht-owning high-profile executive who died of a heroin overdose in the circumstances in which Kevin Jr. was found? In the McDevitt’s opinion, to authorities Kevin Jr. was just another drug addict who died.
The 2013 New Jersey State Police, “12 Most Wanted” poster included a photo of Dewight Montrell Greer a/k/a Stacey Greer, a/k/a Romale Tyson: hair in cornrows, tattoos on his back, chest, neck and both arms, sporting at least three gold-capped teeth. The description also said he was to be considered very dangerous. There’s no way, the McDevitt’s maintain, that their 21-year-old volunteer firefighter son, returning to college in a few weeks seeking a criminal justice degree and an eventual police career, would go anywhere willingly with Greer, without being forced, perhaps at gunpoint.
Kevin Jr. was killed in 2010. The local police told Kevin Sr. and a friend of the McDevitts that the man who rented the rooms “was known to them.” So why did it appear to take 32 months (until March 2013, while the McDevitts essentially were in the dark and uninformed about the progress) for the Atlantic County, New Jersey Prosecutor to charge Greer in Complaints with endangering a victim (Kevin Jr.); receiving stolen property (Kevin Jr.’s TD Bank Debit/Credit card to which more than $6,000 was charged); using the stolen credit card to charge the $6,000-plus; promoting prostitution in Atlantic City; and using threats of physical violence against a prostitute who later pleaded guilty to prostitution charges in January 2014? In New Jersey, a promoting prostitution conviction carries an 18-month maximum (or more in certain situations); and the three other charges three-to-five years. Taken together, if convicted Greer would have faced perhaps three or four years, before time served was taken into consideration.
Additionally, in March 2013 Greer was charged with two counts of human trafficking, a first-degree crime which carries, upon conviction, a 10-to-20-year sentence.
And, finally, in December 2013 the Atlantic County Prosecutor added the strict liability charge, which also carries at 10-to-20-year punishment if convicted.
All the charges have since been indicted and at the time of this writing Greer, the convicted prostitute and the alleged prostitute sit in the Atlantic County Jail. The convicted prostitute allegedly had cut off the ankle-monitoring bracelet she was given after her January 2014 plea but was recaptured in Baltimore. The alleged prostitute reportedly is cooperating with Atlantic County Prosecutors.
Kevin and Friends Off-Road Biking
This website was launched in hopes that someone will step forward to provide the McDevitts with information they have not yet received, either about the extent of the defendants’ criminal actions leading to Kevin Jr.’s death, or Kevin Jr.’s unthinkable drug experimentation.
The McDevitts fear that none of the three defendants will go to trial and if all three cases are resolved with negotiated pleas the McDevitts may never know what the individuals really did with or to Kevin Jr..
Four Long Years
It’s been four years. If you know something about this case you may be more comfortable coming forward now that Dewight Montrell Greer, a/k/a Stacey Greer, a/k/a Romale Tyson, a/k/a Snake, and the two women finally are behind bars. Were you, too, victimized by Greer? Did you work for or with him? The McDevitts want to know.
If you have first-hand information about the crime, those charged, or drug use by Kevin Jr., or any of the three young men whose hotel room he left in anger on August 31st…as hard as it will be for the McDevitts to learn, get in touch with them. Start by using the contact form on this page.
Kevin, His Two Surviving Sisters, Mom and Dad
The McDevitts have now lost two of their precious children. First, 13-year-old, CoriAnn, their youngest daughter died as a result of a tragic accident, then Kevin Jr. was killed four years later.
It’s time the McDevitts knew as much as possible about the case and their son’s death before it’s too late.