JACKSONVILLE, Fl. - The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office arrested a 12-year-old boy for allegedly killing a homeless man.
Police said Sharron Sherman Townsend fatally shot Thomas Zona Trent, 54, behind a strip mall off 103rd Street at the end of June.
WOKV’s legal analyst Mark Rubin said there is a long road ahead before the trial begins.
“If the facts proved to be verified, then the state attorney is going to be confronted with a charging decision,” said Rubin.
It still has to be determined if Townsend will be tried as an adult or a minor. The level of charge also has to be determined.
Rubin told WOKV he thinks the boy will be charged with second-degree murder.
“But of course, it is to be determined because there are so many facts that we do not know yet,” said Rubin.
JSO said Townsend admitted to killing Trent after seeing himself on video surveillance footage. Darrel Royal, 16, was with Townsend the night of the alleged murder and was captured in the footage, according to JSO.
Police said the older teenager told police about the incident. He was arrested on an unrelated robbery charge.
Royal is not expected to face any charges involving Trent’s death, but Rubin said the older teen’s presence at the scene will play a factor in Townsend’s trial.
“An influence of the 16-year-old on the 12-year-old…will also be taken into consideration,” said Rubin.
Townsend is not the only Jacksonville kid accused of murder.
Christian Fernandez was charged as an adult for first-degree murder. Police said he was 12 years old when he murdered his toddler half-brother.
The charge would have put him in jail for life without the possibility of parole, but the Supreme Court ruled that was too harsh of a sentence for someone so young.
Fernandez later pleaded to lesser charges.