Central Florida Shooting Results in Multiple Deaths
February 27, 2023 Don Pumphrey, Jr. Criminal Defense, Violent Crimes Social Share
Earlier this week, deputies in Central Florida responded to calls about a deadly shooting. However, several hours later, the unthinkable happened when the alleged shooter returned to the scene and shot at several journalists and innocent bystanders in the neighborhood.
This article will provide the case details along with information on the likely charges the defendant will face after being responsible for three deaths.
What was the Case?
On February 22nd, 2023 around 11:15 am, Orange County deputies responded to a call about a shooting on Hialeah Street. Police quickly found the victim, Nathacha Augustin, 38, who was pronounced dead at the scene due to her bullet wounds. Deputies claim that Augustin had been inside a vehicle at the time of the shooting.
“There were three people in the car,” said Orange County Sheriff John Mina during a press conference. “The suspect shot the victim as they were in that vehicle on Hialeah, so I’m assuming they’re acquaintances. We just don’t know the exact relationship at this point.”
The suspect in the shooting was identified as 19-year-old Keith Melvin Moses.
Suspect Returns to the Scene; Shoots Three More Victims
Around 4 pm on the same day, Moses made a surprising reappearance at the scene of the crime. Sheriff Mina reported that while the television news crew was preparing to make their report on the crime, Moses was back on the scene firing more shots.
Moses managed to shoot two of the Spectrum News 13 journalists. The two individuals shot at the scene were reporter Dylan Lyons, 24, and photojournalist Jesse Walden, 29. Lyons died from his injuries. The suspect then fled into the nearby house on an adjacent street, where he shot a mother and her daughter, nine-year-old T’yonna Major. The young child died due to her injuries, as well.
Police managed to detain Moses later that day, after receiving tips about the suspect’s whereabouts. Sheriff Mina explained, “A very good description was given out, deputies located him in the exact same clothes that he was wearing during the shootings and once they did detain him, homicide detectives who were familiar with him from the previous case said, ‘Yeah, that’s our same guy from the earlier homicide.”
Moses was found near the same area and deputies say he was armed with a handgun at the time of his arrest. The Orange County Sheriff’s Office posted on Twitter an image of the suspect being detained, stating it’s “a sad day for our community.”
Defendant’s Criminal History
This was not the defendant’s first criminal charge. Sheriff Mina stated that other Orange County deputies recognize him from prior offenses.
“At 19, [Moses] has a lengthy criminal history [that] includes gun charges, aggravated battery and assault with a deadly weapon, burglary, and grand theft charges,” Mina said.
FOX 35 found that Moses had previously been arrested in November 2021 on charges of marijuana possession and drug paraphernalia. However, both charges were dropped the next month.
Sheriff Mina also said in his statement:
“I want to acknowledge what a horrible day this has been for our community and our media partners. I work closely with all of you and know many of you and know the very difficult job that you do and also the very important job that you do for our community.”
The official charges have yet to be announced, but it is likely that Moses will be facing multiple homicide charges in relation to the three fatalities, and two other injuries at the hands of the shooting. In addition, it is likely that the defendant will face charges for possession of a firearm. We will stay up to date with the remainder of the case.
While a criminal case usually starts when the police complete their arrest report, the prosecutor is the one who decides what criminal charges to file against the defendant. To learn more about the procedure after a person is charged with a felony in Florida, go to our informative page here.
In Florida, a person can face a variety of charges for causing the death of another person. Murder charges have some of the harshest penalties in the State.
When a person is charged with first-degree murder, the prosecutor needs to prove that the violent act was premeditated. First-degree murder is considered a capital felony. The penalty for a capital felony offense is either life in prison without the possibility of parole or the death penalty.
A person may be charged with second-degree murder for acting in a violent manner due to a “depraved mind.” This means that the defendant did not plan to commit the murder, but the act itself was imminently dangerous while showing no regard for human life. Second-degree murder is a first-degree felony in Florida. The penalties for a first-degree felony include up to a $10,000 fine and up to 30 years in prison.
The other types of homicide charges a person may face include murder in the third-degree, manslaughter, or vehicular homicide.
A third-degree murder charge is defined as the unintentional, but unlawful, killing of a human being while committing a nonviolent felony (with an exception for certain drug charges). Third-degree murder is considered a second-degree felony in Florida. The penalties for a second-degree felony include up to a $10,000 fine and up to 15 years in prison.
To find out more about all of Florida’s homicide charges, read our page here.
Finding a Defense Attorney in Tallahassee, Florida
Any person who has been accused of a violent crime in Florida should immediately seek out legal guidance from a professional attorney. Given the nature of such cases, the State is likely to prosecute to the fullest extent, resulting in paying expensive fines or being sentenced to lengthy prison sentences. If you or a loved one have been accused of a homicide crime, make sure your first step is to contact a Florida criminal defense lawyer near you.
Don Pumphrey and his team have worked with clients of all ages and from all walks of life. We understand how trying and stressful dealing with a criminal charge can be. Our attorneys will work to build your case a strong defense while ensuring all of your rights are protected in the process. To receive a free consultation regarding your case, call Pumphrey Law Firm at (850) 681-7777 or leave us an online message on our website today.
Written by Karissa Key