Arson victim begins rebuilding her life

By IHUOMA EZEH
Staff Writer

Last update: May 18, 2005


DAYTONA BEACH -- As Keywanna Kennick moved her remaining belongings from her burned apartment Tuesday, she said she didn't know how to start over with her three children.

Police said Kennick's boyfriend beat her and set her three-bedroom apartment on fire after accusing her of infidelity. Tyrone Thomas Joyce, 29, was arrested Monday night on charges including arson and possession of cocaine. He remained in the Volusia County Branch Jail Tuesday on $14,500 bail.

Kennick said the Red Cross and a local abuse organization have agreed to assist her with clothing and shelter for the family.

"I have to start all over again," said Kennick. "And I worked very hard for all my possessions."

Kennick told a different version than Joyce of the affair that sparked the incident.

"I discovered that he was cheating on me with another girl," said Kennick. "Then he got mad because I said it was over."

Police say Joyce accused Kennick, 30, of seeing another man, and punched Kennick several times when she denied the accusation.

Kennick said she ran to a neighbor's house and Joyce followed, threatening to hold her 9-year-old daughter Brittany hostage if she didn't come with him.

According to neighbor Danielle Scott, 24, "They ran to my house and he came after them. He put the gun to my husband's side and grabbed Kennick's daughter saying 'I die tonight, she dies tonight.' "

Joyce was eventually run out of Scott's apartment and neighbors told police they saw him set fire to Kennick's apartment. Kennick still can't believe her possessions have gone up in flames.

"My room was very furnished, I even had Direct TV in my bedroom, now everything is gone."

She said she is still afraid. "I am scared for me and my children."

Kennick is staying with her mother until she gets situated. "I and my two children will go to a shelter, while my other daughter Breonna goes to her father in DeLand."

ihuoma.ezeh@news-jrnl.com