NBC’s ‘Dateline: Dangerous Secret’ features the gruesome murder of 43-year-old Brad McGarry, known for leading a highly sexually active life after coming out of the closet. While the murder occurred in early May 2017 in Brad’s Bellaire, Ohio, apartment, the authorities arrested the perpetrator within a couple of days. If you want to learn more about the case, including how the killer, David Kinney, was arrested and his current whereabouts, we’ve your back. Let’s dive in then, shall we?
Who Is David Kinney?
Brad McGarry, a coal miner and a hairdresser, had a family dinner on May 7, 2017. However, the 43-year-old excused himself, claiming he needed to return to his Bellaire, Ohio, residence to meet someone. At approximately 6:15 pm the same day, David Carl Kinney, his wife, Cheri, and their daughter visited Brad’s home. Upon receiving no response when they knocked on the door, David decided to check the basement, where he discovered his best friend’s lifeless body in a pool of blood. Reports stated he had been fatally shot twice in the head.
The show played the panicked 911 call recording where Cheri could be heard screaming, “There’s blood everywhere. Oh my God, I’m going to throw up. My friend is dead!” The lack of a firearm at the crime scene quickly ruled out the possibility of suicide, and the investigators considered whether it could have been a home invasion or burglary gone wrong. The first responders’ body camera footage showed David visibly upset as he called Brad his closest friend and added, “I’m trying not to freak out. I’m sorry. I can’t stop seeing that.”
The detectives interviewed the Kinneys to learn the victim had recently ended a toxic relationship with an individual named Scotty. However, he was soon ruled out as a suspect when the authorities discovered he had been in a West Virginia prison at the time of the murder. Barring a few prejudices, Brad attracted no animosity at his workplace as the police ruled out his co-workers. As the probe seemed to lose its steam within 48 hours of commencement, the police had a significant breakthrough during a May 9 interview with Brad’s cousin, Schuyler Strawser.
According to the show, Brad had confided in Schuyler a few hours before his demise about a guy he cryptically called “DJ” and his scheduled visit on May 7 afternoon. Schuyler added, “He (Brad) was insinuating they were having sex. It was romantic.” The cousin revealed that this relationship had spanned several years, dropping a startling revelation — “DJ” was, in fact, none other than Brad’s closest confidant, David. Armed with the newfound information, the investigators brought him in for questioning and obtained permission to search his cell.
The phone and David’s admission confirmed the romantic nature of his relationship with Brad. He also confessed to keeping the affair a secret from his wife. Initially, David claimed he had gone to a Chinese restaurant with his wife for lunch, followed by a solo trip to view trailers on May 7, and had returned home around 3:00 pm. However, his cellphone data contradicted his alibi, placing him at Brad’s residence at the time of the murder. Confronted with the information, the suspect concocted a different story — alleging the presence of an unidentified third individual.
Where Is David Kinney Now?
David claimed the individual shot Brad during a heated argument but allowed him to leave after threatening to keep quiet. When his new story was also met with skepticism, he revised it once more, claiming self-defense. He asserted he had attempted to end the romance, leading to an altercation in which Brad produced a gun. David alleged he disarmed Brad and used the weapon to shoot him. However, Brad had been shot twice in the back of the head, indicating that the shooter was behind him, making self-defense an improbable scenario.
David even admitted his affair to his stunned wife, “Cheri, there’s a lot I wish I could have done that I just can’t take back now. I went to Brad’s house to meet up with him. I went to his house and said, ‘Listen, from here on out, it’s just friends, you and me. It can’t be anything more.’ He flipped out on me. He slapped me around a little bit after I told him this was it.” While Cheri’s anguished response ruled her out as an accomplice, the investigators suspected Brad might have become increasingly frustrated with concealing their relationship.
Police sources stated the victim might have even potentially threatened to disclose their relationship’s true nature to Brad’s spouse, Cheri. The authorities suspected it might have provided David with the apparent motive to take his friend’s life to safeguard the secrecy of their double life. The chief of detectives for the Belmont County Sheriff’s Office, Ryan Allar, added, “I believe that David Kinney made up his mind that Brad McGarry had to die. So he lured him there with the promise of sex, killed him, and then covered it up the best he could.”
David’s murder trial started in late January 2018 and continued for eight days before they convicted him of aggravated murder with a firearm specification on February 6. His defense counsel had not contested that their client fired the fatal shots but argued it was in self-defense while the prosecution questioned his second shot. The judge sentenced him to life without parole on February 14, 2018. The Seventh Appellate District upheld the conviction in July 2019. The 37-year-old remains incarcerated at Noble Correctional Institution.