Incriminating Instagram Selfie Results in Teen’s Attempted Murder Charge

May 29, 2023 Criminal Defense, Juvenile Offenses, Social Media

If you are suspected of committing a crime, it is important to know that police can view your social media account for any incriminating evidence. In one recent Florida case, a suspect in Miami-Dade was arrested in connection to a crime after posting an image on Instagram with the alleged weapon.

This page will provide the case details, along with information on the relative charges in Florida, and getting arrested while on probation.

What was the Incident?

The Miami-Dade police have arrested 18-year-old Jaylon Coleman in relation to a drug deal gone wrong. According to a news report, Coleman arranged to meet another 18-year-old on February 8th, 2023, on Northwest 41st Street.

The meeting was arranged for Coleman to purchase controlled substances from the other individual. But Coleman instead took out a black handgun and shot the victim in the right ankle before robbing him.

Coleman fled the scene, leaving behind traces of marijuana, gun shell casings and cartridges, two magazines, and blood-stained clothing. Before the meeting, Coleman posted a selfie on Instagram which showed displayed the black handgun used in the shooting.

Police managed to find his Instagram account “Lonboyyy” to view the incriminating image, along with messages where Coleman planned to meet with the other individual to purchase drugs. Coleman was arrested on May 15th, 2023, in his home located around the corner from the scene of the shooting.

Coleman was already on probation for a conviction through the juvenile court system from a robbery by sudden snatching. The defendant is currently being held without bond on a charge of attempted murder, along with a charge of felon in possession of a firearm.

Attempted Murder in Florida

The state of Florida takes attempted murder cases very seriously, often resulting in the same penalties as a person who committed a murder.

Florida’s open definition of attempted murder leaves room for the prosecution to charge a person who they believe fits the description found under Florida Statute Section 782.04(2):

“Any person perpetrates or attempts to perpetrate any felony and commits, aids, or abets an intentional act that is not an essential element of the felony and that could, but does not, cause the death of another commits a felony in the first-degree.”

A defendant can be convicted of first-degree attempted murder if:

  • The defendant attempted to kill another person during a felony offense including sexual battery, burglary, carjacking, or aggravated battery; or
  • The defendant aided or abetted an “intentional act that is not an essential element of a felony that has the potential to, but did not, result in a victim’s death.

In Florida, a first-degree attempted murder charge can result in a life felony. A life felony has the following penalties:

  • Up to a $10,000 fine
  • Up life in prison without the possibility of parole

A defendant can be convicted of second-degree attempted murder if:

  • The defendant was not intending to kill the victim, but injured them in a way that could be considered attempted murder; or
  • The defendant acted with disregard for human life during the commission of a crime which a reasonable person could understand has the potential to kill another individual.

In Florida, a second-degree attempted murder charge can result in a first-degree felony. A first-degree felony has the following penalties:

  • Up to a $10,000 fine
  • Up to 30 years in prison
  • Up to 30 years of probation

Convicted Felon in Possession of a Firearm

Florida Statute Section 790.23 explains that individuals who have been convicted of a felony offense are not eligible to possess or control any firearm, ammunition, chemical weapon, or electric weapon. A convicted felon is considered someone who was found guilty of a criminal offense which was punishable by over one year in prison.

If a convicted felon is found in possession of any firearm or unlawful weapon, they can face a second-degree felony. In Florida, the penalties for a second-degree felony include:

  • Up to a $10,000 fine
  • Up to 15 years of imprisonment
  • Up to 15 years of probation

Important: If the convicted person is found with a firearm or weapon to either promote or benefit a criminal gang, the charges can be enhanced to a first-degree felony.

Social Media as an Incriminating Tool

Just as social media can be viewed by your friends and family, it is also accessible to law enforcement. What does this mean? If you post any incriminating evidence online, police can easily find it and trace it to you. Some of the ways police use social media in criminal cases includes the following:

  • Collection of evidence through posts, messages, photos, and videos either shared publicly or privately;
  • Analysis of the user’s digital footprint online, which police can use to establish timelines, patterns of behavior, and connections between victims and potential suspects;
  • Location tracking to monitor a suspects’ movement, or to establish their presence at the crime scene;
  • Review online identities which may provide insight on a suspect’s personal interests, beliefs, and affiliations with any possible criminal organizations; and
  • Communication monitoring between suspects and victims, or to track the planning of a criminal offense.

As most individuals use social media in their day to day lives, it is important to be aware of its negative potential for incriminating evidence. It is also imperative that you are aware of your rights if police are investigating you due to social media posts. If you have any questions regarding your criminal case, contact Pumphrey Law Firm for a free consultation.

Getting Arrested While on Probation

A convicted person who violates the terms of their probation can expect to have their probation revoked, along with the possibility of returning to jail or prison.

Under Florida Statute Section 948.06, a convicted person can violate their probation in one of two ways.

A technical violation of probation is considered when the convicted person fails to complete the specific conditions of their probation conditions. For example, failure to pay restitution could result in a technical violation.

A substantive violation of probation is considered when the convicted person commits a new criminal offense while on probation. Even if you are not convicted of the new offense, the Florida Department of Corrections will take the stance that you have committed a violation of probation.

If you have been accused of violating probation, contact a skilled Florida defense attorney as soon as possible.

Contact a Defense Attorney in Tallahassee, Florida

If you or a loved one are facing criminal charges in North Florida or the surrounding area, we highly advise you to receive legal guidance. An experienced attorney will be able to review all case details and strategize a strong defense to your case. With expensive fines and potential imprisonment as the possible outcome of a conviction, it is important that you have an attorney willing to fight aggressively for your freedom.

Don Pumphrey has years of experience working with those in Florida who have been accused of a criminal offense. Our firm will provide top-quality criminal defense while also providing a dedicated support system for you and your case. Contact Pumphrey Law Firm today at (850) 681-7777 or leave an online message to discuss your case options during a free consultation.

Written by Karissa Key

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