"Man admits lying to grand jury probing death of Mike Locksley's son in obstruction plea"
Man pleads guilty to obstruction of justice charge in the death of Meiko Locksley, son of University of Maryland football coach Mike Locksley.
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In a significant development, a man residing in the townhouse complex where Meiko Locksley, the 25-year-old son of University of Maryland football coach Mike Locksley, was tragically found dead over six years ago, has pleaded guilty to a federal obstruction of justice charge. The individual in question, John Willie Kennedy Jr., aged 45, signed a plea agreement that was filed in court on Thursday. According to the agreement, Kennedy initially claimed to a federal grand jury in 2021 that he was present inside his Columbia townhouse when he heard the gunshots that took Locksley's life. However, he later admitted that this account was false when confronted by federal agents over a year later.
Kennedy could potentially face a sentence of up to 10 years for the obstruction charge. However, prosecutors have indicated that they will recommend a sentence of just over seven years. The charge stems from the September 2017 shooting that occurred on the 5500 block of Harpers Farm Road in the Village of Harper's Choice, where Kennedy lived just a block away. According to an affidavit written by a Howard County Police officer deputized by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Kennedy was one of three individuals who called 911 after the shooting. Initially, Kennedy claimed that he had not seen Locksley before the incident. However, phone records revealed that he had multiple incoming and outgoing calls with Locksley minutes before the shooting, contradicting his statement.
In 2018, during questioning by investigators, Kennedy admitted that he may have sold cannabis to Locksley moments before the shooting. However, he maintained that he did not witness who shot Locksley and only came outside after the gunshots were fired. This was the same account he provided to the grand jury three years later. Nonetheless, other witnesses identified Kennedy as the individual they saw placing something into the trunk of his vehicle immediately after the shooting.
Federal prosecutors further revealed that Kennedy confessed during a 2022 interview that he was with Locksley and both had spoken to the suspect moments before the shooting. In a separate court filing, prosecutors stated that when Kennedy was set to testify before another grand jury investigating Locksley's death in 2022, he declared that he would claim to have been inside and not witnessed anything. Prosecutors noted that Kennedy stated he would rather go to jail than be a witness for the government.
It is important to note that Kennedy is the only person who has faced charges directly related to Locksley's homicide. He was indicted in September of last year and is scheduled to be sentenced on January 18 by James K. Bredar, the chief judge of the U.S. District Court for Maryland.
Meiko Locksley's father took on the role of head coach for the Terps in 2018, following his tenure as offensive coordinator on the University of Alabama's coaching staff. Prior to that, he served as Maryland's offensive coordinator under Randy Edsall and later became the interim head coach in 2015 after Edsall's dismissal.