New York Daily News
Handyman killer staged crash: suit
The Brooklyn handyman who confessed to slaying three elderly women in his NYCHA building once helped stage a car crash to reap thousands of dollars in insurance money, according to a lawsuit.
Kevin Gavin, 66, and two others faked a Brooklyn collision so they could split $150,000 in payouts earmarked for medical treatments, according to a state Supreme Court lawsuit filed in November.
Gavin (photo) was riding in the back seat of a 2002 Mercedes-Benz on Dec. 19, 2019, when the vehicle slammed into a woman pulling out of a driveway on a snowy-covered Canarsie street, according to the suit.
The woman claimed the Mercedes, driven by 31-yearold owner Pedro Joint, veered into the driveway to hit her car, somehow missing the cars on both sides of the driveway, court papers said.
NYPD cops took an accident report and Joint filed a claim with Nationwide Insurance, noting that he, Gavin and passenger Sierra Simmons, 23, were injured.
Nationwide filed a lawsuit against Joint, Gavin and Simmons after concluding that the car crash was “the product of a staged and/or intentional event,” court documents said.
During an interview with insurance investigators, Gavin claimed he didn’t know Joint or Simmons. But he did admit that he saw them both at different doctors’ offices, the lawsuit said.
The NYCHA handyman said the three of them were going to a house party where Simmons had asked him to DJ.
Joint asked both him and Simmons to sit in the backseat, because he was going to pick up a third person. The crash happened before the third person was picked up, Gavin said, according to the suit.
Litigation was still pending when NYPD detectives charged Gavin on Thursday with killing a trio of senior citizens at the Woodson Houses in Brownsville.
All three victims — Myrtle McKinney, 82, Jacolia James, 83, and Juanita “Jenny” Caballero, 78 — often relied on Gavin for help around their homes before the suspect turned murderous, cops said.
McKinney was killed in 2015. James was murdered four years later. Caballero was found strangled with a telephone cord on Jan. 15, police said.