It was Kenny Lamonte Brooks' own words that convicted him of murder. After 40 minutes of deliberations, a Baltimore Circuit Court jury found Brooks guilty yesterday on all counts of raping and killing Lynne McCoy, a real estate agent who was showing him a house last year in West Baltimore.
During three days of testimony, prosecutors presented DNA evidence, fingerprints and hairs linking Brooks to the crime. They also recounted Brooks was driving the agent's car and had her credit cards in his pocket when he was arrested in Danville, Ill.
But jurors interviewed yesterday say it was Brooks' tape-recorded confession -- with chilling descriptions of the rape and murder.
"That's what really sold us, the statement, the confession," said a juror who declined to give his name. The juror, one of three interviewed who pointed to the confession as the key piece of evidence, added, "It was pretty cut and dry."
Brooks, 22, could receive two life terms -- including a life term with no chance for parole -- when he returns to Baltimore Circuit Court on Nov. 18 for sentencing before Judge Elsbeth L. Bothe.
He was convicted yesterday of first-degree murder, first-degree rape and armed robbery in the Dec. 21, 1993, attack on Mrs. McCoy, a 57-year-old agent with O'Conor, Piper & Flynn who showed him a house in the Hunting Ridge neighborhood.
After the killing, Brooks fled to his hometown in Illinois. The defense called no witnesses during the trial.
Monday, the jury listened to a tape recording of Brooks' confession to Baltimore homicide detectives. Brooks told police he punched Mrs. McCoy and hit her head against a door jamb.
Brooks, who was convicted and sentenced to 18 months in prison in 1991 for a burglary committed after he visited a home with a real estate agent, told police the technique was his "con." He said he would leave a window open or grab a spare key to the house.
More than 20 relatives and friends of the slain real estate agent were in court yesterday when the verdict was announced. Members of the group, including a contingent from St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church on Edmondson Avenue, embraced and wept.
"My family's beliefs in the goodness and the good things that exist in this community were strongly tested," said John McCoy, the victim's son.
Katie McCoy Chang, the slain woman's daughter, added: "The only satisfaction that can be had out of all of this is it won't happen to another family. We've lost our mother."
Brooks' lawyer, Richard J. Altmark, who had argued the confession was not voluntarily given and should be barred from trial, said the conviction will be appealed.