"I set the whole thing up." This is part of a recording that prosecutors played in a courtroom in Clearwater, Florida last Friday, the 20th of September. The voice was that of a now 22-year-old woman who previously had been in the news because of her chronic hiccup problem, hiccupping as much as 50 times in a minute. Now she has been in the media for a murder trial. The recording was from a phone call to her mom, when she referred to the robbery she was arrested for. She also told her mom, "I didn't kill nobody, I didn't know this was going to happen."
And true enough, she was never accused of pulling a trigger; she was not even accused of planning a murder. But she was charged with first-degree murder because she was accused of planning a robbery that resulted in someone's death. Last Friday, after four hours of deliberation, a jury found the woman guilty of first-degree murder. She was sentenced to life in prison.
According to prosecutors, back in 2010, the then 19-year-old tricked a man into showing up at an apartment; he thought he was there to buy marijuana. Prosecutors said that the woman had planned for her boyfriend and another man to rob their unsuspecting victim at gunpoint. Instead of an armed robbery, however, it turned into the man being fatally shot.
The trial centered on whether or not the woman was a bystander, or whether she was responsible for the robbery. In Florida, if a person commits a serious enough felony, such as robbery, and someone dies because of the felony, that person can be charged with murder.
Anyone who faces felony charges is already facing serious consequences. Many of these charges can escalate in Florida. Being convicted of a felony could mean years in prison, thousands of dollars in fines, and more. For some, the worst thing of all is having to live out the rest of life as a convicted felon. This permanently scarred record can bar the doors to numerous opportunities in life, some as basic as finding a good place to live, or landing a decent job.
In Florida, you could face worse penalties than these, as this state has the death penalty. Whenever you face criminal charges, it is imperative for you to find an outstanding Tampa criminal defense attorney, someone who is committed to preserving your rights and your future, someone who has a
successful record of defending their clients. You cannot afford delay with something this serious.
Contact Thomas & Paulk, P.A. today to find out how we may be able to provide the rigorous defense that you need.