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Expert: Makia Coney's Death Could Have Been Prevented

5:45 PM, Jul 30, 2010   |    comments
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Makia Coney was shot and killed by two of her University Christian classmates near the high school they attended on February 10, 2010.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- University Christian student Makia Coney's murder could have been prevented.

That's according to a clinical social worker.

Two classmates pleaded guilty to second-degree murder Thursday.

Conner Pridgen and Charles Southern said they killed Coney because they wanted to see what it would feel like to kill someone.

Coney's death is now described as a thrill kill, according to the state.

It's a disturbing motive that both Charles Southern and Connor Pridgen outlined to the state.

One that, according to Jim Clark, a clinical social worker, is extremely rare.

"We don't see thrill kills for no reason," said Clark, the CEO of "daniel", the oldest child-serving agency in the state.

Clark has not worked with Pridgen or Southern but based on his work with other children who have committed violent crimes he says there's a certain type of child who kills for thrill.

"In terms of why would a child do this, particularly in children who have the intellectual capability to know the difference between right and wrong," he says, "I go back to it has to be the issues of desensitization, the lack of values, moral development and poor communication."

Clark says environment factors play an important role in development.

"Everybody, I don't care who you are, you're responsible for your own behavior," Clark said.

"But you do have to understand that there are influences that lead us in particular ways. So without knowing in depth the case, I can't say that the parents are involved. But I would say that there are environmental factors there that attributed to these children harming this young girl."

Clark says, the bottom line is, the tragedy could have been prevented.

"It could have been prevented possibly by not having access to weapons. I don't know these children's backgrounds but I would say that children are not born bad," he said. "Environmental factors and other things lead to them going astray."

First Coast News

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