Family of homicide victim visits site of murder

Louisville, KY - By Marisela Burgos - bio | email

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - The family of a 21-year-old man shot in West Louisville revisited the place he was killed.

A year has passed since Joseph McNealy Junior was shot multiple times in the 500 block of South 19th Street and Stone Alley.  The shooting happened on November 28, 2009.  According to court documents, McNealy told EMS workers he was shot by 18-year-old Marcus Crook.  The court documents indicate a witness confirmed the story.

Crook was arrested and charged with complicity to murder and complicity to tampering with evidence.  LMPD arrested a second person, linked to McNealy's death.  Steve Bledsoe Junior was charged with complicity to hindering prosecution.  Investigators said after the shooting Bledsoe drove Crook to Tennessee to help him avoid being arrested.

"Why does my family have to suffer because you wanted to take it upon yourself to take away somebody's life?  It's not fair," McNealy's mom, Darlene said as she stood at the site her son was killed –a year later.

Darlene McNealy said her family went back to 19th and Stone Alley to celebrate Joseph's life and to pray for the families of the men charged with his death.  Family members tied balloons to a pole and flowers in his memory.

"Losing somebody that you just think is gonna be there every day, you just can't imagine them just being gone.  It hurts," McNealy's brother, Menes said.

Menes and Joseph were five years apart.  Menes described his brother as a jokester, saying he was full of life.

"I just wake up in the morning and just {say} 'hey, I'm going to enjoy the day {I} have here' 'cause you never know when I'm going to be gone," Menes said.

Menes said he has constant reminders of Joseph through the two children he left behind.  Joseph has a  3-year-old son and a one year old daughter.  "Joe's got this sorta smirk and his son does the same little smirk.  He'd hit you and laugh and that's what Joe used to do.  {He} would hit you and run away and stuff," Menes reminisced.

Losing Joseph was not the first tragedy the family has had to cope with.  Back in 1996, two more siblings were killed.  About a month apart in unrelated cases, Deron and Suwanda Cole were shot and killed.  After losing three children within 14 years, Darlene McNealy and the family has continued to turn to faith and to each other, but they do not want these types of crimes to continue in the Metro.

"It's just a sad situation, killing just keep on going on.  {You are} not just hurting one person, {you are} hurting so many people tied to that one person," Darlene McNealy said.

"I just hope and pray no family have to go through what our family have been through," Joseph's Aunt, Teresa Miller said.  "All this killing, when is it going to stop?  When is it going to stop?  When are they going to say we've had enough," she continued.

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