Convey Gets 5 To 20 Polec Family Blasts Teen-ager Who Initiated Killing

Posted: February 28, 1996

Kevin Convey skirted a life prison sentence by ratting on Eddie Polec's baseball bat killers, his former buddies.

But yesterday, Convey, 19, couldn't escape the judgment of Polec's family.

During Convey's sentencing hearing, Polec's father, mother and sister faced the attacker who felled Eddie with a bat blow, then took the first swipes at his fallen body.

``Mr. Convey,'' said John Polec, looking squarely at the quivering defendant.

``Since Nov. 11 . . . I have tried to figure out what happened to my son.

``I realize that I will never get an answer, but I believe your actions that night allowed my son to die . . . I can never forgive you for that,'' he said, his voice heavy and sad.

Convey was sentenced to 5 to 20 years in prison for third-degree murder as part of his deal with the prosecution. The sentence was recommended by the district attorney's office and imposed by Common Pleas Judge Jane Cutler Greenspan.

The squealer testified against the other six teens, who helped murder the former Fox Chase altar boy, in order to avoid life in prison for first-degree murder.

He could be freed in as little as three years and 9 months because he's been in jail since his arrest in December 1994.

Greenspan suspended sentence on the charge of conspiracy, which would have added 5 to 10 years.

Two of Convey's fellow bat-wielders were convicted in February of third-degree murder. Four others were found guilty of conspiracy to murder. They and other revenge-seeking members of a suburban mob slew Polec, 16, on the steps of St. Cecilia's Church in 1994.

Sentencing for the other six convicted killers is set for March 19.

Yesterday, one by one, Eddie Polec's family members tearfully condemned Convey. It was the first time they had denounced one of the killers face-to-face.

Convey, dressed in a blue suit, nervously looked up from his courtroom chair at his victim's parents. His lips trembled and he folded his hands on his lap, occasionally wiping his red, teary eyes.

``I want to know why after Eddie fell and he said he didn't do anything, why you didn't stop it then,'' cried Kathy Polec in a shaky voice.

``I'd like to think you're sorry, but human nature being what it is, I believe you had a need to survive,'' she said. ``You didn't want first-degree murder.''

Convey looked away when Polec's brother and sister stood before him.

Billy Polec, who also was chased by the killer gang, would not address Convey. Instead, he spoke to the judge.

``He was loving, a great friend, just my brother,'' Billy Polec said. ``They stripped me of that.''

Convey was part of the rampaging band of Abington teen-agers who stormed Fox Chase with bats to avenge a friend harassed by the Philadelphia youths.

``He is very very remorseful,'' said defense lawyer Joseph T. Kelley of Convey. He said Convey plans to write a letter apologizing to the Polecs.

Convey's mother sent the Polecs a note, asking forgiveness, the lawyer said. The mother would not comment after the sentencing and rushed out of the court building hiding her face with a pair of jeans.

Assistant District Attorney Joseph Casey said he didn't believe the plea agreement hurt his attempt to win first-degree murder convictions against the others. He said he needed the testimony of a co-conspirator to convince the jury beyond a reasonable doubt of the killers' guilt.

He said Convey will continue helping prosecutors in the continuing investigation of Polec's murder. Convey testified that at least four other teens who have not been arrested helped beat Polec.

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