Fourteen year old Timmy Kane was watching SuperBowl XXVI in 1992 with two older boys when one of them said, “We’re going to go rob a house!” With no thought of consequences, Timmy foolishly went with them.
By the time he realized what these older boys were actually going to do, it was too late. “You’re not going anywhere,” ordered 19 year-old Alvin Morton when Tim wanted to leave. As he hid under the dining room table, he heard the shotgun blasts.
In Florida, if you are with the murderer, you are guilty of murder. Because Tim “didn’t try to leave” the scene, he got life in prison. At age 14!
I first met Tim around ten years ago at Sumter Correctional near Bushnell, Fla. I was a guest of The Gospel Echoes, who go to the Sumter Chapel every January. I have seen Tim every January since then. We have become friends.
Ron Miller, a Holmes County native who lives in Nashville, has been working to free Tim ever since he saw his story on Dateline in 1998. He even started a vibrant prison ministry called “Timothy’s Gift” to bring awareness to Tim’s situation and also to share the good news of Christ in prisons thoughout Florida and now other states.
Bahia Vista Mennonite Church in Sarasota has “adopted” Tim, writing to him, sending members to visit him, letting him know that he is not forgotten.
After his parents divorced in 1990, he had little structure and supervision. Even with a high IQ of 137, his grades began to slip and he started spending time with tougher kids- including 17-year-old Bobby Garner and 19 year old Alvin Morton, the ones who took him along to rob and murder.
In an interview, Tim said, “I got what I deserved. I did wrong things. But I like to think, I like to hope, that someone can change. I’m not that 14-year-old boy anymore,” he said.
Timothy Kane was release from prison!
Long story short: Last week Tim was released from prison! After 25 years! The 14 year old boy is now a young man of 39. I was able to talk to him by phone the day after he got out. He was going to go swimming for the first time in 25 years. He had just eaten at McDonalds and then went to Hardees and ate some more. He’s never driven a car. He’s never used a cell phone… “I don’t have the words to explain what’s going through my mind…” he told me on the phone. He’s in a new world.
Tim developed a habit of reading Prov. 1:10-11 every morning in prison:
My son, if sinners entice you, do not give in to them. If they say, “Come along with us; let’s lie in wait for someone’s blood, let’s waylay some harmless soul… my son, do not go along with them.
“Am I worthy of a second chance? Two people lost their lives. They don’t get a second chance. I don’t deserve anything. But I hope to have a chance to have a second chance.”
Tim has learned his lesson. Pray for him. And for the victim’s family. They still grieve.
P.S. We booked Tim to speak at our Feb. 20, 2018 Sarasota Banquet. Mark the date!