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Suspect in murder of AT&T worker found not guilty by reason of insanity

Posted at 1:51 PM, Oct 31, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-01 07:41:48-04

WACO, TX — Zachary McKee, the man indicted for causing the death of Kenneth Cleveland, was found not guilty by reason of insanity and sent to maximum security hospital.

McKee entered a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity.

The family of Cleveland expressed their concern after the verdict. They sent 25 News numerous statements on their thoughts of the not guilty plea.

"I have been waiting for this day since April 22, 2016. Unfortunately I had hopes that you, Zachary McKee, would be standing trial for the heinous crime you committed. But of course, you have once again played the justice system with the ignorant insanity plea. Not guilty is a big slap in the face for my family," one statement from the family read.

Another read, "You selfishly, for no reason at all other than being pure evil, took the most important man in my life from me and my kids, sisters and my entire family. You took my hero, my daddy. For this, I hope you burn with the devil. The justice system may not make you pay but God certainly will."

Zachery Lamone McKee, 28, of Waco, was indicted in 2018 for causing the death of Kenneth Cleveland by stabbing, and/or cutting, and/or beating, and/or setting him on fire.

In April 2016, officers found Cleveland near a ladder in the 1400 block of Barron Ave. He was in the area working on a routine service call for AT&T.

Initially, police said it was possible Cleveland was electrocuted, but months later an autopsy revealed his body had 13 stab wounds, severe blunt force trauma and several chop wounds to his head.

Medical examiners said most of Cleveland's body was burned after he died.

Sgt. Patrick Swanton with Waco police said that McKee had been a person of interest in the case early on.

According to the arrest warrant, McKee confessed to killing Cleveland and had provided details that only someone close to the case would know.