John Evander Couey is dead. For the family of the 9-year-old girl he raped and murdered four years ago, this is a small taste of justice.
In 2005, Couey, a registered sex offender, broke into the Lunsford home and dragged little Jessica from her bed. Evidence suggests Couey took the girl to the home of Couey’s half-sister, within sight of the Lunsford home, where he kept her for at least two days, raping her, and finally stuffing her into a plastic trash bag and burying her alive in the backyard.
In 2007, Couey was convicted of first-degree murder, kidnapping, and sexual battery on a child under 12. He was sentenced to death, but Jessica’s father, Mark Lunsford never expected live long enough to see Couey executed.
In the end, it wasn’t the State that balanced the scales, but Couey’s own poor health. Couey died of natural causes September 30 in a Florida hospital.