Connor Pridgen and Charles Southern were two students from Florida who would murder a fellow classmate. According to court documents Connor Pridgen and Charles Southern decided they wanted to know what it felt like to kill someone and they focused on classmate Makia Coney. On the day of the murder Connor Pridgen and Charles Southern convinced Makia Coney to go for a walk with them and when they were in a wooded area the victim would be shot several times.
The two teen killers were arrested and convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to forty years to life in prison
Connor Pridgen 2021 Information
|Name:||PRIDGEN, CONNOR J|
|Initial Receipt Date:||10/05/2010|
|Current Facility:||HARDEE C.I.|
|Current Release Date:||SENTENCED TO LIFE|
Charles Southern 2021 Information
|Name:||SOUTHERN, CHARLES R|
|Initial Receipt Date:||10/07/2010|
|Current Facility:||MARION C.I.|
|Current Release Date:||SENTENCED TO LIFE|
Connor Pridgen And Charles Southern Other News
Charles Roy Southern, the Jacksonville teenager sentenced to life in prison for the thrill kill of 17-year-old University Christian classmate Makia Coney will get a new sentencing hearing on the order of the Florida Supreme Court.
Southern was 17 when the crime occurred, and recent court rulings have questioned the constitutionality of putting minors in prison for the rest of their lives.
He is now 24 and will likely be resentenced in 2017. He had a status hearing this week, and the next hearing in his case will be Jan. 11.
Coney was a fellow student in February 2010 when Southern and Connor Pridgen, then 16, shot her in the head. Prosecutors said Coney left school with the two teenagers thinking they were going to smoke cigars in the woods, but the two boys planned to kill her to see what it felt like to shoot someone.
Both boys ended up pleading guilty to second-degree murder and were sentenced to life in prison by Circuit Judge Elizabeth Senterfitt, who is also expected to handle the resentencing. Senterfitt cited the teens’ cockiness and lack of remorse as reason for sentencing them to life at the original sentencing hearing.
Southern told prosecutors that he and Pridgen intended to become armed robbers with guns they had stolen. Southern said they wanted to know what it would be like to fire a gun if they had to shoot a robbery victim.
“Their actions personified evil,” said Assistant State Attorney Mark Caliel when both pleaded guilty in July 2010.
At his sentencing hearing Southern said he participated to prove something to Pridgen out of stupidity.
Pridgen has not been given a resentencing hearing, but one is likely, also due to his age.
Senterfitt could have sentenced the pair to anywhere from 40 years to life.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 2012 that mandatory life sentences for juveniles are unconstitutional. But this year the Florida Supreme Court found that the U.S. Supreme Court decision also applied to cases where juveniles had been sentenced to life in cases where life was not a required sentence.
Juveniles can still face life sentences, but judges must weigh criteria such as the offenders’ maturity and the nature of the crimes before imposing that sentence. An underpinning of the Supreme Court ruling was that juveniles are different from adults and are at different stages of brain development, so that a life sentence without the possibility of parole violates the Eighth Amendment ban on cruel and unusual punishment.
Connor Pridgen And Charles Southern More News
One of two teenagers sentenced to life for the murder of a Jacksonville classmate was re-sentenced Wednesday to life with review after 25 years..
Charles Southern was sentenced to life in prison without parole in 2010 for the murder of 17-year-old University Christian School student Makia Coney.
But the Supreme Court has since ruled that life sentences for juveniles without the possibility of parole are unconstitutional.
Southern, who was 17 at the time, and fellow UCS student Connor Pridgen both pleaded guilty and were sentenced to life in Coney’s murder, which prosecutors characterized as a “thrill kill.” Coney was shot in the head at close range by both teens.
Pridgen, who was 16 at the time, and Southern are two of nearly 600 teenage defendants who received life in prison sentences for murder, but new laws are forcing judges to review their cases, taking into account their youth.
Pridgen was re-sentenced in October under the new guidelines. A judge handed down a life sentence with a review after 25 years.
Southern’s lawyer, Michael Bossen, sought a similar punishment for his client, which was granted.
Bossen said Southern is remorseful and fully understands the consequences of his actions.
He said the state offered Southern a plea deal that would re-sentence him to life in prison with review after 25 years. Southern accepted that, and the judge approved it Wednesday.
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