Kentay Lee

From Adult Time for Adult Crime

The Truth

“On 31 December 1998, Edward Mingo and his brother William Mingo hosted a New Year’s Eve party….William recruited people from the street to enlarge the party. William encountered two teenagers later identified as Terrence Henderson and defendant [Kentay Lee] and
brought them to the party….”

“[Later that night] Defendant and Henderson slipped back into the building after a resident opened the doors as he was leaving. The camera recorded defendant and Henderson exit[ing] the building at 12:24 p.m. Defendant was now wearing a leather jacket later identified as
belonging to Edward.”

“On 2 January 1999, William walked to his brother’s apartment to return his glasses…and found Edward dead, lying face down on the floor.

“Officers entered the apartment and observed that the couch, living room wall, and floor were covered in blood. Detective Robert Buening testified that the living room and bedroom had been ransacked, and that he saw various injuries on Edward’s body. He collected a bloody
hammer, covered with hair tissues and traces of scalp.”

“Dr. James Sullivan performed an autopsy on Edward’s body. Dr. Sullivan recorded multiple trauma injuries, including: three cutting wounds, six lacerations or gashes on the head, bruising across the forehead, and approximately twelve other cutting wounds on his back,
chest, arm pit, and leg. Dr. Sullivan opined that these trauma injuries, probably resulting from a box cutter and a hammer, caused Edward’s death.”12

“Kentay was also arrested on January 8, 1999 and
made a [taped] statement to police…. According to Kentay, after the last guest left Eddie’s apartment, Kentay said to Terrence, ‘I fixing to get him’ and Terrence said,
‘I got your back.’ Kentay then ‘tackled’ Eddie, and ‘put him in a chokehold as hard as [he] could and just started choking him. And then Terrence cut him.’ Kentay also stated that he was the one who found the knife, which he described as a box cutter, in the couch and that
he handed it to Terrence before he (Kentay) ‘rushed’ Eddie…. Kentay additionally stated that he hit Eddie in the head with the hammer ‘once or twice or three times’ when Eddie said ‘he was going to get his 9.’ Kentay also stated that there was five dollars in the pocket of Eddie’s
jacket, and that he took a phone from the apartment.”

“At the end of the confession, [Police Officer Bobby] Buening asked Lee what he thought about the killing.”

“Buening: ‘Are you sorry for what you did?’
“Lee: ‘Sorry, no. But I won’t do it again though.’”


State v. Lee, 558 S.E.2d 883, 885 (N.C. Ct. App. 2002)

Brief of Defendant-Appellant at 7–8, State v. Lee, 558 S.E.2d 883 (N.C. Ct. App. 2002) (No. COA00-1486).

Gary L. Wright, Jurors Hear Teen Confess to Killing, Charlotte Observer, July 1, 2000, at B1

Anti-JLWOP Activist’s Version

“Ken-Tay was 14 years old when he and an older teenager were
invited to a New Year’s Eve party by a 30-year-old man. After being served numerous drinks, smoking marijuana, and after aggressive maneuvers by the older man, KenTay and the older
teenager responded violently and fatally injured the man.”

From the Equal Justice Initiative’s Cruel and Unusual: Sentencing 13- and 14-Year-Old Children to Die in
page 31.

Research from the Heritage Foundation’s Adult Time For Adult Crime.