Extreme Child Abuse Leads to Murder in Florida

Two Florida minors are accused of premeditated murder of their older brother. Misty “Ariel” Renee Kornegay, 15, and Nicole Kornegay, 11, are facing charges of the murder of their 16 year old brother, Damien Kornegay.

MISTY RENEE KORNEGAYDamien was sleeping on the couch when Ariel took an unloaded handgun from a locked room, while Nicole kept watch. Renee loaded the gun herself, and shot Damien one time. He was pronounced dead when the police showed up.

The murder was a shock to the small town of White Springs, with the population being only 800. So many questions are still unanswered in this case. Not only how could this happen, but why?

The parents were also arrested based on child neglect causing great bodily harm, and failing to properly supervise their children. Misty Kornegay, 33, had gone on a long work trip with her trucker husband, Keith Kornegay. They had been gone for over 24 hours before the shooting happened Monday, January 5th. The parents were arrested Tuesday.

A three year old boy was also found alone with Damien’s dead body in the home. He was immediately put in the custody of the Florida Department of Children and Families by police.

With each day that passes, an unraveling of past abuse has risen. Ariel has suffered physical and sexual abuse by her uncle over the years. He was convicted of molesting her in 2010. Also in 2010, police were called to the home for “inappropriate behavior” involving Damien and Ariel. Allegedly, the mother found the two having sex. Also, Ariel told investigators that for periods of years she would be locked in a room with just a blanket and bucket. Ariel said earlier that Monday, Damien had beat her up. Authorities have not yet commented on a possible motive in the shooting.

Could years of abuse and neglect drive a child to have murderous intentions?

Right now, Ariel and Nicole are being held at Columbia County Detention Facility without bond. It is not yet clear what Nicole’s role was in the shooting, but Ariel did admit to pulling the trigger to shoot her brother.

Prosecutor Jeff Siegmeister has stated that he has not made a decision in trying them as adults or children. In the state of Florida, juveniles can be held in a detention center for a maximum of 21 days. The judge has ordered an extra nine days in this case. In some juvenile cases, the children may be sent home after the allotted amount of days. But in this case, there is no home to return to. The parents are in jail with a $20,000 bond, and are not allowed unsupervised communication or visits with their children.

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