Florida suspect released hours before murders
Saturday 23 April 2011
A blunder by US prosecutors may have led to the release of the teenager charged with murdering two British holidaymakers in Florida last week, hours before he is alleged to have carried out the killings.
James Cooper, 25, and James Kouzaris, 24, were shot dead in the early hours of Saturday last week in a crime-ridden part of the Gulf Coast state described by police as a "no-go" area for tourists. Shawn Tyson, 16, has been charged with two counts of first-degree homicide.
The teenager was labelled "a danger to the community" by Chief Judge Lee Haworth at a court appearance on 8 April for an earlier gun charge, who recommended he stay in custody.
Mr Tyson was first arrested on 7 April for firing a gun at a car belonging to someone he had been involved in an altercation with. But Mr Tyson was then released on 15 April by Juvenile Judge Deno Economou, who was not aware of Haworth's concerns, at a hearing which was not attended by detectives familiar with the case as was requested by Haworth. At 3am the next morning Tyson is alleged to have shot and killed the two Britons.
"There's continuing potential escalation between these alleged victims," Chief Judge Haworth said during the hearing on 8 April.
He had recommended Tyson stay in custody "to help diffuse this situation", but particularly because of the danger a 16-year-old handling a firearm presented to the community. The "prosecutorial missteps and a series of communication problems" were cited by the Sarasota Herald-Tribune newspaper as leading to the release of Mr Tyson against the advice of the Chief Judge.
In a sign that prosecutors recognised the initial mistake, the aggravated assault charges relating to the first arrest on gun charges were filed again yesterday.
This time, Mr Tyson was charged as an adult for five counts of aggravated battery, meaning he will remain in an adult jail while he faces murder charges.
- 2 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 3 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 4 Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire
- 5 'Hello mum, this is going to be hard for you to read ...'
Sally Farmiloe dead: Howards' Way actress, and former mistress of Jeffrey Archer, dies aged 60
Russell Brand accuses FOX News anchor Sean Hannity of terrorism after aggressive Israel-Gaza debate
Pope Francis issues top 10 tips for happiness – including don’t try to convert other people
Sabina Altynbekova, the girl branded 'too good looking' for volleyball, says social media obsession with her is a 'bit much'
Justin Bieber posts Instagram photo of Orlando Bloom crying after Ibiza fight 'over Miranda Kerr'
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
Land for gas: Merkel and Putin discussed secret deal could end Ukraine crisis
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Richard Dawkins tweets: 'Date rape is bad, stranger rape is worse'
- < Previous
- Next >
£35000 - £40000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: .Mid Level V...
£40000 - £45000 per annum + Competitive Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Dig...
£40000 - £50000 per annum + Car, Medical, Fuel + More!: Progressive Recruitmen...
£50000 - £60000 per annum + benefits: Progressive Recruitment: An absolutely o...