Prosecutors backed off their first-degree murder charge and offered a plea to second-degree murder for a Jacksonville teen charged in a deadly shooting. The boy, now 17 but 15 at the time of the shooting, agreed to the plea deal last month, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union. The plea agreement includes language that the sentence will be between 10 and 30 years, which the judge accepted, the newspaper reported. The teen is expected to be sentenced next month.
The teen and two of his friends showed up uninvited to a party in a local apartment complex and got into an argument with a 22-year-old friend, the newspaper reported. The teen was accused of hitting the man with his gun and then shooting him, the newspaper reported. Many of the details in this Jacksonville Gun Case that would have come out in a trial, such as a possible defense from the teen or the possibility that the gun accidentally went off, have yet to surface. Those types of details will now likely be discussed in the sentencing hearing. In Jacksonville Felony Cases that result in a plea, as most of them do, the sentencing hearing can end up being the de facto trial. And it should be. There is plenty on the line. While in the cases like this Jacksonville Murder Case the defendant already knows he’s going to prison for a significant amount of time, there’s a big difference between a 10-year sentence and a 30-year sentence. For the defendant in this Jacksonville Murder Case, it’s the difference between being released in his mid-20s or his mid-40s.
The agreement to plead guilty to second-degree murder instead of first-degree murder is significant in this Jacksonville Murder Case. The only possible sentences for first-degree murder are life in prison and the death penalty. Because the defendant in this case was under the age of 18, the death penalty was not an option for the state. But the 10 to 30 year range on the sentence wouldn’t have been an option either had the charge remained first-degree murder. Our Jacksonville Criminal Defense Attorney represents people on all types of charges from traffic tickets and misdemeanor theft charges all the way up to murder. Our Jacksonville Violent Crimes Attorney will thoroughly investigate your case and provided you with the information and options to make the best decision going forward.