A 28-year-old man who is accused in the violent death of a longtime AT&T employee was indicted on a murder charge Wednesday.

A McLennan County grand jury indicted Zachary Lemone McKee in the April 2016 murder of Kenneth Cleveland, 61, of Hewitt, who was found dead in the 1400 block of Barron Avenue. Waco police detectives investigated the case for nearly two years before McKee was arrested on a murder warrant in January.

“This is still really surreal and I think each part of this process just comes with one more thing,” said Amber Cleveland-Hicks, the youngest of Cleveland’s seven daughters. “We don’t know anything about criminal law or what the process is, but we just know each thing that we find out is just another step closer to sealing the deal.”

Police were initially called to a home on Barron Avenue in late April 2016 when a worker appeared to have been electrocuted. Additional investigation led police to believe the man, later identified as Cleveland, suffered “violent injuries” that were caused by another person.

An autopsy report released in August 2016 states Cleveland’s death was brutal, detailing graphic injuries to the head and neck, including at least 13 stab wounds.

Police investigated the case for nearly two years before McKee was formally identified as the suspect. A warrant was issued for his arrest while he was being held in a mental health facility in Falls County on a criminal mischief warrant.

Court documents states McKee confessed to killing Cleveland and was listed as an “early suspect.” McKee was arrested in January on a murder charge.

He has remained in McLennan County Jail with bond listed at $500,000.

Kristin Hoppa has been covering public safety and breaking news for the Tribune-Herald since January 2016. She worked in Northwest Missouri covering crime-related issues before her move to Central Texas. She is a University of Kansas graduate.

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