View Full Version : Boy faces UK tourists murder charge

04-22-2011, 10:54 AM

Shawn Tyson Prosecutors intend to prosecute Shawn Tyson as an adult

Prosecutors in the US have said they intend to charge a 16-year-old boy with the murders of two British tourists who were shot dead in Florida.

The bodies of university friends James Kouzaris, 24, from Northampton, and James Cooper, 25, of Warwick, were found in Sarasota early on Saturday.

Both men had been shot several times, the BBC understands.

04-22-2011, 11:45 AM

gday jacksmar, here's another pommy news site's take on the whole sordid scenario.... hope you're good mate.:)

04-22-2011, 11:55 AM
Here is the real reason for outrage, and it has more to do with the typically half-assed Florida prosecution's malfeasance than the predictable "a black guy did it" ranting.

Missteps freed youth in British tourist murder case

By Todd Ruger HERALD TRIBUNE (http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20110421/article/110429883)

Published: Thursday, April 21, 2011 at 2:59 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, April 21, 2011 at 2:59 p.m.

SARASOTA COUNTY - Prosecutorial missteps and a series of communication problems led a judge to release 16-year-old Shawn Tyson from custody just hours before police say he shot and killed two British tourists in Newtown.

Eight days before the murders, Tyson was arrested and charged with shooting a gun during a fight, and beating a man.

Chief Judge Lee Haworth, presiding over Tyson's first appearance in court on April 8, raised serious questions about his danger to the community.

He ordered Tyson held and urged prosecutors to either increase the charges or find some other way to keep Tyson jailed. He also ordered that a police detective familiar with the case appear at Tyson's next court hearing to present information about the case before a decision was made.

"There's continuing potential escalation between these alleged victims and I think also for the safety of the child as well as the mother, I think to help diffuse this situation, but particularly because of the danger it presents to the community with a young 16-year-old handling a firearm," Haworth said during the hearing on April 8.

But Sarasota Police say they never received a request from prosecutors, so a detective never appeared in court as Haworth had ordered.

Instead, at an April 15 hearing before Juvenile Judge Deno Economou, prosecutors failed to mention Judge Haworth's concerns.

A prosecutor did not object when a Department of Juvenile Justice officer recommended Tyson be released to home detention even though his mother Kenyatta Whitfield had previously told the court she often had no idea where Tyson stayed. Tyson had also told the court earlier that he smoked marijuana regularly and had fired the gun during the April 7 confrontation.

The hearing took three minutes and Tyson was freed later that day.

At 3 a.m. the next day, 25-year-old James Cooper and 24-year-old James Kouzaris arrived at The Courts, the public housing project where Tyson sometimes lived with his mother. They were shot dead, and Tyson has now been charged with murdering the two men.

One local juvenile justice expert said that based on the seriousness of the previous charge, the instability of the home situation and the concerns expressed by Haworth, Tyson should not have been released.

"There was no reason to believe anything other than the fact that this young man is dangerous," said Sarasota attorney Mark Zimmerman, who handles juvenile cases and reviewed the case.

"You're not releasing a child to home detention, you're just releasing him."

Judge Economou said Thursday that based on the information presented at the hearing, he saw no reason not to release Tyson.

"All I had was what was presented that day," Economou said of the three-minute hearing.

Prosecutors from State Attorney Earl Moreland's office countered that the judge had access to the case file that contained Haworth's concerns and police reports detailing the violent acts Tyson was charged with.

Economou said Thursday he did not see Haworth's order and still has not.

The Department of Juvenile Justice declined to comment on the case.

A recording of the detention hearing obtained by the Herald-Tribune shows that Assistant State Attorney Rod Haynes said little at the hearing before Economou.

"He scored only 10 points, your honor, on the underlying charge," Haynes said in his only remarks that day. He did not mention the other hearing or articulate any reasons the state, or Haworth, would want Tyson detained.

Haynes referred to a point system that guides how defendants are handled, with a score of 12 points or more requiring that they be held in jail until trial.

The court recording shows that state juvenile officer Drorit Erickson asked Economou to release Tyson on home detention. "I did speak to the mom, and he's going to be at my office every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 7:30 a.m. to sign in," Erickson said. She added that Tyson would start attending school again.

"And, I've been in touch with the mom, and, so you know, we've been talking," she told the court.

Economou ordered him released, and told Tyson to listen to his mother because she had his best interests at heart.

Prosecutors say they did not say much at the hearing because they had nothing to add to their earlier argument. Economou said he relied on prosecutors to provide him more detail about the case.

Economou said he is annoyed that prosecutors blew off Haworth's order to bring a detective to the hearing. Sarasota Police Capt. Paul Sutton said his office was never contacted by prosecutors or asked to appear before Economou.

"They were ordered by a judge to have someone in court," Economou said. "When we tell someone to do something, it's not an invitation to a tea party; you do it."

In hindsight, prosecutors now say they could have handled Tyson's case with more care.

"Clearly there are things we will make sure are done more consistent with our policies in the future," said Erica Arend, supervisor of juvenile prosecutions.

"Obviously, if we all knew that day what we know today, I'm sure many people in the room would have done something differently," she said.

04-22-2011, 12:13 PM
Fry the motherfucker!

04-22-2011, 12:14 PM
the thing that astounds us aussies and euros is how bloody easy it is to get a gun there, craig. i know; we've trodden this ground with the gabby giffords thing... we have an over representation of certain ethnicities in sydney with illegal handguns, but at least they're shooting each other. i have many mates in the law enforcement arena, at all levels. junior constable right up to magistrate. unfortunately this 'gang banger' culture appeals to some groups more than others. even in australia. and i would definitely not classify myself as a racist. i'm a crimeist.

edit; just turned into a 'crazy ass mofo'! how appropriate.:)

04-22-2011, 12:21 PM
hang em high!!

Nitro Express
04-22-2011, 12:24 PM
It's easy to get guns in Europe if you buy them on the black market. Probably so down under as well. If you can buy illegal drugs, you can get illegal guns. The world is awash in them. It's not so easy to get a gun legally in the US as you might think. You can't get a hand gun unless you are a citizen of the state you are buying it in and you have to be 21. Then you have to fill out a Federal Firearms Form and then they call the FBI to see if you have a criminal record. In some places you have a waiting period.

04-22-2011, 12:28 PM
the thing that astounds us aussies and euros is how bloody easy it is to get a gun there, craig.

It's easier than getting a driver's license. Put it to ya this way: In the early 1990s, I was robbed at gunpoint and somehow survived a good thumping. When the miscreants were later caught and prosecuted, it came out at trial that the gun used in the crime was purchased the evening before, at a park in Miami. The weapon's cost? 17 dollars.

04-22-2011, 12:38 PM

this guy didn't seem to have too much trouble, nitro.

Nitro Express
04-22-2011, 04:28 PM

this guy didn't seem to have too much trouble, nitro.

Like I said you can buy anything you want on the black market. The legal dealers refused to sell to him because he lacked the proper ID. People used to sell firearms in the classified ads but nobody does that anymore because the serial number is still registered to the original owner. If I sell a gun I do it through a firearms dealer and give him a commission. In the 80's I used to bring a gun to school because I shot skeet and kept it in the principals office. But nobody was shooting up schools then. Now you get in trouble for having a pocket knife. I once bought a M-1 carbine during my lunch hour at school. Bought the gun and carried it to my car and put it in the trunk. After school I drove outside of town and shot it. Amazing. I grew up around guns so I guess I don't have the paranoia people have about them now.

With all the wars we are having that's where your illegal full auto firearms come from. They pick them up or steal them and then they get sold all over the world. I mean if you are going to go off the deep end, why even bother with a gun. Use explosives. You can do plenty of damage with what you can buy at the gas station. Laws just keep the honest people honest. Guns are going to be obsolete anyways. The military has some cool microwave weapons now they can use. Radio frequency weapons are the future. Just shut people down that way.

Nitro Express
04-22-2011, 04:32 PM
Some compressed air. Some gasoline. Add some liquid detergent to make it stick. You are going to wish you were shot.

Nitro Express
04-22-2011, 04:49 PM
People owning guns never bothered me. People shooting each other doesn't bother me. People have been killing each other for a very long time. In the 1600's everyone with money carried a rapier sword and knew how to use it. The poor used farm tools for weapons. In the 19th century guns became more affordable and the old joke that God made man and Sam Colt made them all equal came into being. We've always had murderers and nutcases. In the not too distant past they got a free trial and were hanged or shot. Then things suppossedly got more sophisticated with endless appeals and no death penalty. Charles Manson now apparently has a cell phone. Maybe he's saner than what society now has become. I guess the major sin I see now is too many people milking the system for money until the system has become madness. It's a real insane asylum. Much worse than catching horse or cattle thieves, giving them a trial and hanging them because if nothing was done, a person's livelyhood would be destroyed. Or blasting a kid with rock salt for stealing watermellons. We now live in an age were protecting your assets is a bad thing. In fact having any assets is a bad thing. No that's dangerous. So roll over and let big daddy take care of everything. What they fail to tell you is big daddy is a rapist and pedafile. Big daddy when he goes off the nut kills millions of people. Maybe the real insanity is thinking we are any different than we have been for thousands of years. We never seem to learn the lesson.

The truth of the matter is we all are going to die. It's how this place operates. People die. Cars rust. Wood rots. The tetonic plates turn under other plates melting the old rock and spewing new lava building new land. In the scope of things, we really aren't that special. We really don't have that much power. We dig up huge bones of species that once lived here and got wiped out. We will get wiped out too. So live in the moment, enjoy the now, and have some fun! What's killing society more than guns is apathy, laziness, turning responsibility over to others, and being passive. Nobody lives anymore but then of course, they are making individuality evil now.

04-22-2011, 08:30 PM
Oh my!!!

I can't believe the "boy" has brown skin...

The title should read:

Ni**er faces UK tourists murder charge

04-23-2011, 04:15 AM
ELVIS Banned!