Shanee Liggins, Frostburg student accused of killing Kortneigh McCoy, in court
The Frostburg State University student accused of killing Kortneigh McCoy will be held without bond, a judge ordered Monday.
Shanee Liggins, 23, of Waldorf, faces first- and second-degree murder and assault charges, according to police. Liggins was a soon-to-graduate senior. She has no prior criminal history.
Frostburg student Marcus Wilson knew both Kortneigh McCoy and Shanee Liggins, the woman charged with her murder. He said he was on his way to talk to a counselor when an ABC7 reporter spoke to him Tuesday.
Neighbors say they didn’t know of problems with Liggins or her roommates.
“They've been very quiet. I was amazed,” said neighbor Gerald Workman.
Campus police confirm her house was not on a watch list of so-called problem party houses. Officials have suggested alcohol played a role in the homicide.
“I will say that alcohol is often involved in crimes and incidents of violence,” said Frostburg State University Police Chief Cynthia Smith.
After a brief hearing in Cumberland Monday, Liggins' parents hustled away from cameras, declining to comment. Earlier, Darryl Liggins had said he is stunned by the charges against his daughter.
“She's just the most responsible child I have ever seen. I just can't get my head around it,” he told ABC7 News Sunday at his home in Waldorf.
“Something so simple that could be resolved without violence. I don't understand it. It’s ridiculous,” said Frostburg State student Ryan Growski.
At the home where the killing happened, a trash can on the front porch is filled with crime scene tape and red party cups. According to charging documents, Liggins was collecting money as a cover charge to a party at the house where she lives when McCoy and her friends arrived. An argument ensued between one of McCoy's friends and Liggins. McCoy then allegedly became involved in the verbal altercation.
After the argument, the documents say that McCoy went outside the house and encountered one of her friends. She allegedly told the friend that she was going to fight a girl, then changed course and said she was only going to talk to her.
A short time later, Liggins allegedly came out of the house and a fight ensued between her and McCoy, during which blows were exchanged, including one from McCoy to Liggins that opened a cut on her lip.
The documents allege that at this point, the suspect had a knife in her hand; some witnesses saw it while others did not. During the course of the fight, Liggins then allegedly stabbed McCoy twice, once in the head and once in the neck.
On the next page: The Liggins family reacts
The Liggins family is trying to wrap their heads around the tragedy. They declined comment after Monday's court hearing.
"I'm heartbroken for them as well as I am," said Darryl Liggins. "If they are feeling like me, it's horrendous."
Liggins denied to police that she was responsible for the stabbing.
McCoy, a sophomore physics major at Frostburg, was scheduled to sing with a student gospel choir on Sunday. The performance instead became an emotional memorial for McCoy, packed with students and faculty.
At an afternoon press conference, Frostburg State's president blamed alcohol for many campus incidents. After the second party-related homicide in two years he said binge drinking has to be reduced.
“I'm angry because over the past five years we have worked extremely hard to create a safer community,” Frostburg State President Jonathan Gibraltar said.