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    1. #11
      Heidi's Avatar
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      Oct 2010
      Pretrial hearing begins in case of teen accused of killing Officer David Crawford

      The trial for a teen accused of shooting and killing a St. Petersburg police officer will start in just ten days.

      Friday morning during a pretrial hearing, defense attorneys for Nicholas Lindsey Jr. fought to keep evidence out of court, such as photos of the teen on Facebook they believe would be damaging if jurors saw them.

      The judge did not rule on the photos yet, but said he wants to make sure the teen has a fair trial.

      The judge also said that in order for the teen to have a fair trial, he feels he must limit the number of uniformed officers in court.

      Lindsey Jr. is accused of shooting and killing police officer David Crawford. The case has received a lot of media attention and dozens of officers are expected to be in court during the trial, however, the judge will only allow two uniformed officers in court at a time. Lindsey's defense attorneys agreed with the ruling.

      Other police officers will be allowed to watch the trial, as long as they wear plain clothes in court.

      The judge also said that anyone who wears clothing that shows support for either the defense or prosecution will not be allowed to watch the trial.

      Jury selection starts March 19. The trial is expected to last at least a week.

      If convicted, Lindsey Jr. could spend the rest of his life behind bars. The case is not a death penalty case because of a recent Supreme Court ruling that does not allow juveniles to be executed.

      Read more: http://www.abcactionnews.com/dpp/new...#ixzz1of5ywml3

    2. #12
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      Oct 2010
      Lindsey attorneys plan manslaughter defense

      Attorneys for teenager Nicholas Lindsey are planning to argue their client is guilty of manslaughter in the death of St. Petersburg police officer David Crawford, rather than first-degree murder.

      Lindsey, now 17, is accused of shooting and killing Crawford in February, 2011. Crawford was investigating a report of a prowler and confronted Lindsey. Police say Lindsey responded by shooting and killing Crawford.

      Lindsey faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison, if convicted of first-degree murder. His trial began Monday at the Pinellas County Criminal Justice Center.

      More: Watch the trial live (only when court is in session) at http://wfts.tv/GEiyhm .

      He is being tried as an adult, but is not eligible for the death penalty because he is younger than 18.

      During the jury selection process on Tuesday, defense attorney Frank McDermott asked multiple potential jurors if they could consider a lesser charge against Lindsey if the defense could prove Lindsey “panicked” when approached by Crawford.

      After the jury was chosen -- made up of 12 jurors and three alternates -- Judge Thane Covert acknowledged the defense was considering arguing for a lesser charge. He asked Lindsey if he was aware of this and accepted it. Lindsey said he was and did.

      A conviction on a manslaughter charge would call for a shorter sentence than a first-degree murder conviction.

      Opening statements are likely to take place Tuesday afternoon.

      Read more: http://www.abcactionnews.com/dpp/new...#ixzz1pgqwLYGc
      A uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

    3. #13
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      Oct 2010
      Eyewitnesses testify in Lindsey murder trial

      Witnesses in Nicholas Lindsey's murder trial described what they saw on the night of Feb. 21, 2011 when St. Petersburg Police Officer David Crawford was shot to death.

      An eyewitness, who said he watched someone wearing a black hoodie shoot Crawford, admitted he had been smoking marijuana at the time.

      Ashton Ware testified in a Pinellas County courtroom that he was walking by, when he saw Crawford get out of his patrol car and motion to a man walking away from him.

      "He turned around and drew a gun from his waistband and I saw fire come out of the barrel," said Ware.

      After being questioned by Assistant State Attorney Jim Hellicksonm Ware said Crawford had not drawn his weapon when he was shot. Ware said he was frightened and turned and ran away before getting a good look at the gunman.

      A dance studio owner, who drove by immediately after the shooting, testified he saw Officer Crawford fall to the ground.

      Initially, Michael Ponce De Leon said he thought the officer had a heart attack. He backed-up his car and told his passenger to call 9-1-1.

      "I ran toward the officer and yelled, 'Officer, Officer, Officer.' I wanted him to know I was there to help and not harm him," said Ponce De Leon.

      Other witnesses took the stand to testify they saw a young black man, in a dark hoodie, running near the area.

      The defense does not dispute that Lindsey was the shooter. During yesterday's opening statement, defense attorney Frank McDermott asked the jury to consider the lesser charge of aggravated manslaughter.

      Even though Lindsey is being tried as an adult, he will not face the death penalty because he is under 18. If convicted of first-degree murder, the maximum sentence is life in prison.

      A uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

    4. #14
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      Oct 2010
      A jury has found 17-year-old Nicholas Lindsey guilty of first degree murder in the death of St. Petersburg Officer David Crawford.

      The jury reached a verdict after less than four hours of deliberation.

      After reading the verdict, Judge Thane B. Covert sentenced Lindsey to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

      Because he is a minor, Lindsey was not eligible for the death penalty.

      Earlier Story:

      Clearwater, Florida - At 1:58 p.m., the jury in the case of accused teen cop-killer Nicholas Lindsey began deliberations in the high profile murder trial.

      Shortly after lunch, the defense began its closing arguments, calling this case an "epic tragedy."

      Lead defense attorney Dyril Flanagan told jurors that the death of veteran St. Petersburg police officer David Crawford at the hands of Nicholas Lindsey was "senseless" and that the city lost "one of the finest."

      Flanagan started out by saying that he wanted to correct prosecutors in calling Lindsey "a man."

      "He was a snot-nose, whimpering boy. He is a boy. A mama's boy," said Flanagan. "His destiny is sealed."

      The defense added that this is not a first degree murder case, rather a situation where manslaughter occurred.

      "The true and correct verdict," said Flanagan, "is manslaughter."

      Prosecutors say Lindsey admitted during a videotaped confession that he killed Officer David Crawford in February 2011 when the veteran cop tried to question the teenager as the then 16-year-old was breaking into a car.

      "This boy was lost. He is a child," said Flanagan, trying to emphasize to jurors that the teen didn't realize the consequences of his actions.

      Flanagan spent the majority of his closing arguments telling jurors that his client was tortured in the South St. Petersburg neighborhood where he lives.

      "He was known as a mama's boy," Flanagan told jurors. "He had to find a way to look tough."

      Flanagan went on to say that now 17-year-old Lindsey was trying to "break away" from his mother who was trying to protect her "baby boy" from neighborhood kids.

      "He was beaten up by the other kids," Flanagan maintained. "What he did was wrong, but for these kids in that area, you have to survive."

      State Attorney Bernie McCabe gave the state's rebuttal and told jurors, "Leave sympathy and emotion out of the jury room."

      He added, "This was premeditation. Nicholas Lindsey is guilty of first degree murder. It's sad for Officer Crawford's family and the city of St. Petersburg."

      Earlier in the day, Assistant State Attorney Bruce Bartlett told jurors, "He made a conscious decision to take the police officer out."

      If Lindsey is convicted of first degree murder, he could spend the rest of his life in prison. His defense attorneys are hoping for a verdict of manslaughter so their client will eventually get our of prison during his life.

      Lindsey cannot be sentenced to death because he is a minor.

      A uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

    5. #15
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      Oct 2010
      Two profiles of Nick Lindsey heard in resentencing hearing

      Was Nicholas Lindsey, who shot and killed a St. Petersburg police officer in 2011, a decent kid, at heart – one who became the man of the house after his father left, who taught his little brother to read, who loved to play football?

      Or was he a street thug who began smoking more than three joints a day at age 11, who repeatedly stole cars and who, even after he was sent to prison for murdering a cop, cut up a fellow inmate?

      Those were the two portraits of Lindsey that emerged during testimony Monday at his resentencing hearing. At issue is whether Lindsey is capable of being rehabilitated – and, therefore, should be given a shot at parole in 25 years – or whether, for the public’s sake, he should spend the rest of his life behind bars for murdering Officer David Crawford.

      More than a dozen police officers crammed into a Clearwater courtroom, along with Crawford’s daughter, for the hearing, which lasted more than 4 1/2 hours. Circuit Judge Thane Covert said he would issue his decision on Oct. 11.

      Crawford’s daughter, Amanda Crawford, told Covert she wants him to put Lindsey away for the rest of his life. She said she is still haunted by her father’s death.

      “This wound is not more closed than it was on Feb. 21,” 2011, the night Crawford was shot, she said.

      “I just want the piece of mind to know I’ll never have to walk on the streets and come across my father’s killer as a free man on the same sidewalk.”

      Lindsey, now 18, was originally sentenced March 23, 2012, after a jury found him guilty of first-degree murder. Lindsey was 16 when he killed Crawford, a veteran police officer.

      Three months after the sentence, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that giving a juvenile an automatic mandatory life sentence without any chance of parole is unconstitutional. A sentencing hearing is required. The court also mandated that other factors must be considered, including the person’s mental development and background.

      The high court’s ruling became an issue in Lindsey’s case because, under Florida law, the only possible sentences for someone convicted of first-degree murder are the death penalty or life in prison. The sentence is automatic in cases where prosecutors are not seeking the death penalty.

      The first impression of Lindsey was given by his great-uncle Joe Lindsey, who described him as a shy kid who grew up in a dangerous neighborhood in south St. Petersburg. Two of Joe Lindsey’s nephews were shot to death in the same neighborhood, he testified.

      A woman who used to go to the Lindsey apartment as part of a home-based program for preschoolers spoke of his love for his younger brother. Another woman who struck up a correspondence with him after his prison sentence was handed down said he was remorseful.

      “He said he wishes he could turn back time,” said Bonnie Buron, a Pinellas County wastewater treatment plant operator.

      There is no doubt Lindsey’s home life was less than idyllic. He was born prematurely and suffered from an array of conditions, including asthma, eczema, a heart defect and eventually, hearing loss.

      While his mother was pregnant with him, his father was in jail for operating a drug house and is in prison now on drug charges. The couple, who often pushed and shoved one another, split about the time Lindsey turned 13, prosecutors said. His mother eventually lost a job as a nurse because of her cocaine use, prosecutors said.

      Another issue raised Monday is whether Lindsey was at a disadvantage because of his psychological problems.

      Testifying for Lindsey’s defense team, forensic psychologist Richard Carpenter said he found Lindsey suffered from a mixed anxiety depressive disorder and a kind of post-traumatic stress disorder. An IQ test showed Lindsey’s is 77, Carpenter testified.

      But Assistant State Attorney Jim Hellickson attacked Carpenter’s testimony, noting that Lindsey, while in prison, scored 86 on an IQ test, a number that falls in the normal range. Lindsey has also done well on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, Hellickson said.

      As for Lindsey’s lingering post-traumatic stress disorder, which Carpenter attributed to Lindsey having been exposed to a murder when he was 11, Hellickson asked Carpenter if he ever checked to see whether the killing was real.

      “It’s not clear that it happened,” Carpenter conceded.

      Assistant Public Defender Stacey Schroeder, one of Lindsey’s defense attorneys, told Covert juveniles such as Lindsey are “constitutionally” different from adults, as their minds are not yet fully formed. They are impulsive and they have less of an appreciation than adults for the consequences of their actions, she said.

      Sentencing a teenager to life without parole constituted cruel and unusual punishment, she argued. Even a 50-year sentence is equivalent to a life sentence, based on the life expectancy of a black male such as Lindsey, she said.

      But Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney Bernie McCabe said there was nothing impulsive about the shooting.

      “This was not some impulse,” McCabe said. “This was pulling the trigger five times.”

      Lindsey shot Crawford five times after the officer stopped his squad car in the teen’s South St. Petersburg neighborhood to question him about car break-ins in the area. The only thing Crawford had in his hand was a note pad.

      “This particular crime stands out above the rest,” McCabe said. “When someone kills a police officer in a cold ... senseless fashion, that has to be viewed as an uncommon event with an uncommon penalty.”

      While some witnesses and attorneys portrayed Lindsey as one worthy of a second chance Monday, prosecutors spoke of a street kid who abused marijuana and alcohol, skipped school and who had several brushes with the law, usually after he stole a car.

      Lindsey got into a fight 19 days after beginning his prison sentence for killing Crawford in March 2012, Hellickson said. He spent 30 days in solitary confinement; but he continued getting in trouble, interrupting a head count of inmates in July and stabbing a fellow inmate in December. For that, he got 60 days of solitary, Hellickson said.

      A uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

    6. #16
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      Oct 2010

      No new sentence: Judge rules Nicholas Lindsey to get life in prison for shooting Officer David Crawford

      A teenager convicted of killing a St. Petersburg police officer will not receive a new sentence.

      Judge Thane Covert ruled Friday morning that 18-year-old Nicholas Lindsey will serve life in prison without the possibility of parole for the shooting death of Officer David Crawford, despite being only 16 years old at the time of the February 2011 shooting.

      Lindsey was tried and convicted and, because minors can't receive the death penalty in the United States, was sentenced to life in prison.

      But Lindsey wanted a reduced sentence after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that people under the age of 18 can't be handed automatic life sentences, and that some consideration of alternatives must be made.

      Judge Covert gave consideration, and in a lengthy statement issued from the bench on Friday, determined Lindsey's behavior on the night of February 21, 2011.

      A uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

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