Guilty Verdict in Decade-Old Murder Case

September 3, 2022 Criminal Defense, News & Announcements, Violent Crimes

Ten years after high school student Jake Duchene was shot and killed during a drug deal, a jury has now found the defendant guilty of murder. Anthony Jamal Williams, 27, was found guilty of first-degree murder, attempted murder, and armed robbery from a 2012 drug deal gone wrong.

We will cover the details of the case, along with armed robbery charges in Florida.

What was the Incident?

In January 2012, 17-year-old Jake Duchene was fatally shot during a drug deal gone wrong. Days following the shooting, Jamal Williams was pointed out as the shooter. Only 16 years old at the time, Williams was not charged until eight years after the incident.

According to the arrest report, Williams had arranged to meet with Duchene to purchase one-quarter pound of marijuana that was valued at $800. Williams allegedly was planning to use the drug deal as a ruse to rob Duchene.

Witnesses in the case claimed that Williams was talking to Duchene through the window of the driver’s side window of Duchene’s pickup truck on 39th Street and Windsor Avenue.

Shortly after the witness told investigators that two men holding guns started to shout at Duchene, “give me everything” and “give me the dope.” Duchene’s friend, Zachary Wolfe, was there at the scene and was injured in the shooting.

Wolfe told police that he then handed the bag of marijuana to the two men, and then one opened the driver’s door. Duchene started the truck to attempt to drive away when one of the men started to shoot.

On January 5th, 2012, Wolfe identified Williams in a lineup of photos as the gunman who shot his friend. Then Tyrie Theophile, 16 years old at the time, was indicted by a grand jury for charges of murder, attempted murder, and armed robbery charges.

Then in 2015, a jury ruled that Theophile was not the one responsible for the shooting, although he was there at the time of Duchene’s death. This was because he did not have a gun on him. He was then found guilty of second-degree murder and sentenced to 45 years in prison by Beach County Circuit Judge Karen Miller.

In 2018 an appeal with the 4th District Court of Appeals threw out the initial sentence but upheld the guilty conviction. The Court of Appeals said that Judge Miller mistakenly stated that Theophile had a gun and pulled it out and brandished it. He is set to receive a new sentence in October.

Charged Eight Years Later

Williams was not charged with the murder of Duchene until eight years later in 2020. He was already serving a four-year sentence for two homicides that took place in 2016. The authorities moved Williams from a north Florida prison to the Palm Beach County Jail to face the charges. The judge ordered that Williams remain in jail without bond on the charges from the 2012 murder.

Guilty Verdict

Over a decade after Duchene was shot and killed, a jury has now found Williams guilty of the murder. Now 27, Williams was found guilty of first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, and armed robbery.

Circuit Judge Caroline Shepherd postponed the sentencing of Williams until November 10th, 2022. Williams has been ordered to be held without bond until the scheduled sentencing.

Armed Robbery in Florida

Robbery is defined under Florida Statute Section 812.13 as a theft that is committed during the commission of an assault. That makes it both a property crime and a violent crime. There are multiple distinctions of a robbery depending on the characteristics of the crime. The different distinctions include:

  • Armed Robbery
  • Robbery by Sudden Snatching
  • Carjacking

In most cases of robbery, it is considered a second-degree felony. A guilty verdict would result in the defendant receiving up to 15 years in prison. However, if there is a weapon involved in the robbery, then it is considered a first-degree felony. This is punishable with up to life in prison.

To find out more about the various types of robbery and the potential defenses, read our informative page here.

Finding a Defense Attorney in Tallahassee, Florida

Getting accused of a crime in Florida can lead to serious consequences. Expensive fines, imprisonment, and the stigma of holding a permanent record can all result from a guilty conviction. In the most extreme cases, it can lead to life in prison or capital punishment. If you or a loved one have been accused of a crime, it is imperative that you seek out the advice of a skilled defense attorney in your area. Don Pumphrey and his team at Pumphrey Law Firm have represented clients all across the state of Florida for various criminal charges. Call us at (850) 681-7777 or leave an online message for a free consultation.

Written by Karissa Key

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