State Attorney Upgrades Charges in Tallahassee Shooting Case

November 11, 2022 Criminal Defense, Violent Crimes

A recent shooting that took place in Tallahassee resulted in eight people injured and one person killed. The case is ongoing with the Tallahassee Police Department, and four people have been arrested so far in relation to the mass shooting.

We will provide details about the case, along with information on second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder in Florida.

What was the Incident?

On October 29th, 2022, Tallahassee Police Department (TPD) officers began crowd control at several locations along West Pensacola Street. According to TPD’s Facebook post, several individuals began shooting into the crowd at Half-Time Liquors.

During the mass shooting, eight people were injured. Police on the scene attempted to assist with life rendering aid to the ninth victim, who unfortunately passed away from their wounds. The victim was DeMario “Ro” Murray, a groundskeeper for Florida State University. His death was caused by the crossfire shots fired by the suspects.

Officers witnessed one of the suspects take off running towards a nearby McDonald’s and took off after him. According to the report, the deputies pursued the armed subject and commanded he dropped his weapon. In an attempt to stop the threat, officers shot the suspect and arrested him after leaving him with non-life-threatening injuries.

The first suspect arrested from the McDonald’s chase was De’Arius Cannon, 30. Cannon faces charges of attempted second-degree murder, carrying a concealed firearm unlicensed, and resisting an officer without violence.

Two days later, three suspects were arrested and taken into custody. The first suspect was William Thomas, 23, who was arrested for eight out-of-county warrants and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. Tamylon Williams, 26, was also arrested for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, and possession of a controlled substance.

On November 8th, TPD charged a fourth suspect in relation to the mass shooting case. Joseph Walker III was arrested after TPD detectives developed probable cause and consulted with the State Attorney’s Office to obtain a warrant for his arrest.

According to TPD, the investigation is still ongoing and additional arrests may still be made.

Upgraded Charges by State Attorney

State Attorney Jack Campbell announced on Monday that two of the suspects in the shooting case will receive upgraded charges. Cannon and Williams are now both facing second-degree murder charges and attempted murder charges for the death of Murray.

The following is a statement by Campbell regarding the shooting:

“I want the community to understand that shooting into groups and going and getting into these rolling gun fights is not going to be tolerated. This office is going to hold each of those shooters accountable, whether they hit somebody or not. Whether I’m able to determine who started it or not, we’ve got to stop the shooting.”

Court reports indicate that there were more than 50 shots fired during the incident. Campbell continued by saying TPD is still “hot on the trail of what happened” and that there could still be additional charges added to any of the suspects already arrested or others who may be arrested in the future.

“We’re still trying to determine as many facts as we can,” Campbell said. “Every person who shot that night, we are trying to find out who you are.”

Unlicensed Carrying of Concealed Weapon

Florida Statute section 790.01 explains the penalties for carrying a concealed weapon or firearm without a license. Under Florida law, a person who carries a concealed weapon or electronic weapon device on or about their person without a valid license can be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor in Florida. A first-degree misdemeanor has the penalty of up to a $1,000 fine and up to one year of imprisonment.

If an individual carries a concealed firearm on or about their person without a valid license under Florida Statute section 790.06 can be charged with a third-degree felony in Florida. A third-degree felony has the penalty of up to a $5,000 fine and up to five years in prison.

Second-Degree Murder in Florida

Florida Statue section 782.04(2)-(3) explains that a person can be charged with second-degree murder if an imminently dangerous act to another person results in the unlawful killing of a human being. Second-degree murder differs from first-degree murder because there is no premeditation, meaning no prior plan to commit the killing.

Under the same statute, an individual can be charged with Accomplice Felony Murder. An accomplice second-degree felony murder occurs when an individual acts as an accomplice or helps out the person who allegedly killed the victim. The accomplice can help during the commission or attempted commission of any of the following felonies that result in a felony murder:

Whether the defendant is accused of second-degree murder or being an accomplice in a second-degree murder attempt, the penalties are the same. Second-degree murder can result in a first-degree felony in Florida. A first-degree felony has a penalty of up to a $10,000 fine and up to 30 years in prison.

How to Defend an Attempted Murder Charge

Oftentimes, a person convicted of attempted murder can be faced with the same penalties as a person convicted of murder.

Fighting a murder or attempted murder charge may feel impossible. This is especially true for accused individuals who are arrested at or near the scene of the crime. However, the state is still responsible for securing a conviction. In order to convict a person of attempted second-degree murder, the prosecution must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  • The defendant acted with malice;
  • The defendant intended to commit, aid, or abet murder;
  • The defendant’s acts were criminal

Working with a skilled defense attorney is always advised in a criminal case. An attorney can help build a strong defense for your case, which can include any of the following defenses:

  • The defendant acted violently to defend or protect another person or persons;
  • There is not enough evidence to prove the defendant intended to kill another person or persons;
  • The defendant acted violently due to the belief they were in a dangerous or seemingly dangerous situation;
  • The defendant acted violently out of self-defense;
  • The defendant’s actions were influenced by external factors, such as pre-existing mental illness.

In order to figure out what defense works best with your case, contact a skilled defense attorney in your area.  

Finding a Defense Attorney in Tallahassee, Florida

Violent crimes are harshly prosecuted in the state of Florida—this is especially true if another person dies as a result of the alleged violent actions. If you or a loved one have been accused of a violent crime, contact Pumphrey Law Firm.

Don Pumphrey and his team have years of experience working with clients accused of violent crimes. We vow to stand in your corner and fight for your future. Call us today at (850) 681-7777 or leave us an online message on our website.

Written by Karissa Ke

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