Man gets 20-year sentence for beating Muscogee County Jail cellmate to death

Jeffrey McKinney
Jeffrey McKinney Muscogee County Jail

A Muscogee County inmate accused of beating his cellmate to death in November 2013 pleaded guilty to voluntarily manslaughter on Thursday in Muscogee County Superior Court.

Facing a felony murder charge, Jeffrey McKinney entered the plea to the reduced charge in front of Judge Art Smith and was sentenced to 20 years in prison.

McKinney’s Muscogee County Jail cellmate, 57-year-old Issac Kindred, was found dead on Nov. 9, 2013, from strangulation and head wounds, according to autopsy results. The two were in the jail’s mental health dorm.

At the time of the incident, McKinney’s family said the then-25-year-old had been diagnosed with schizophrenia, and at times was too out of touch with reality to make rational decisions.

McKinney was jailed Oct. 25, 2013, on charges of aggravated assault, burglary, third-degree cruelty to children, peeping tom and stalking. Smith also sentenced McKinney on Thursday on those charges. McKinney received a 20-year sentence with 14 years to serve on aggravated assault and burglary charges and five years on the peeping tom charge.

Smith ran the sentences on the original changes concurrent, but then stacked that on top of the voluntarily manslaughter conviction, effectively giving McKinney 40 years in prison with 34 years to serve.

McKinney was represented by Columbus attorney Robert Wadkins Jr., who said his client had been declared mentally competent to stand trial.

“I think that the prosecution’s recommendation reflected my client’s culpability and the relative strength of the state’s case,” Wadkins said.

Chuck Williams: 706-571-8510, @chuckwilliams