Sharron Townsend was twelve years old when he fatally shot a man in Florida. According to officials the twelve year old teen killer and a friend would harass the homeless man weeks before the actual murder took place. On the day of the crime Sharron Townsend would fatally shoot the victim in the head. There was some outrage as the twelve year old was interrogated without his parents or a lawyer being present. However in the end Sharron Townsend would plead guilty to murder and would be sentenced to thirty years in prison with a review after fifteen years.
Sharron Townsend 2023 Information
|Initial Receipt Date:
|DEPT OF JUV. JUSTICE
|Current Release Date:
Sharron Townsend More News
Sharron Townsend, 15, was sentenced Monday to 30 years in the 2014 death of Thomas Trent.
Townsend has 30 days to appeal the sentence. Townsend was given nearly 1,000 days credited for time already served. His sentence will be reviewed after he serves 15 years, and he will be on probation for 10 years after his release
Trent, a homeless man, was shot in the head on June 28, 2014 by Townsend, making Townsend one of the youngest murder suspects in Florida history.
Townsend pled guilty to the murder in June 2016.
Townsend was reportedly part of a group of two boys who argued with Trent for weeks.
“I’ve watched it go on and on and on,” said another homeless man, who didn’t give his real name, in 2014. “He would drink and they’d come around and throw stuff on him when he was passed out.
“He would cuss them and throw stuff at them. Then they started urinating on him and would pour Cokes on him, so he got mad and threw rocks at them and I think he hit one of them.”
Police say Townsend is one of boys seen in surveillance video that was released days after the killing. The video was captured by ASAP Dental Care, a business in a nearby strip mall.
“Yeah, he was homeless, yeah he had a problem [with] drinking, but that didn’t make a reason for him to be killed,” Trent’s sister, Dawn McNabb, said in 2014. That didn’t make a reason for him to be a target.”
Townsend was arrested and interrogated. The video of the interrogation was released in 2016.
His mother was upset, saying he should have not said anything without a lawyer present, and that his life is ruined.
“You only 12 years old. You not even understanding. You just threw your whole life away,” she said.
The families of Townsend and Trent were each in the court Monday. Neither made any comment.
Sharron Townsend Other News
A teenager who was 12 years old in June 2014 when he was accused in the shooting death of a 54-year-old homeless man pleaded guilty Tuesday morning to second-degree murder.
Sharron Townsend, now 14, was charged as an adult after he shot Thomas Trent in a parking lot on 103rd Street. Trent’s body was found June 28, 2014.
Police said Townsend shot Trent once in the head. The arrest report said the boy admitted to shooting him with a .22-caliber gun. Police said the murder weapon was never found.
Investigators said Townsend and Trent (pictured below) did not know one another. Police said the killing appeared to be random, because Trent was not robbed. Townsend was identified as one of two boys seen running from the scene in security video from a nearby business.
Police said the second boy implicated Townsend, who they said later confessed. Townsend was on probation at the time on a previous arrest for burglary.
Assistant State Attorney Alan Mizrahi said not taking the case to trial was in the best interest of the state.
“We had discussions with the victim’s family, and not having to go to trial and the appeal and to do right by the defendant — all those things combined to make the plea appropriate,” Mizrahi said.
Townsend faces 10 to 40 years in prison. He will be sentenced on Aug. 22. Because Townsend is a juvenile, if he is sentenced to more than 25 years, the sentence will be reviewed.
Townsend’s attorney said Tuesday that he will present arguments at the sentencing hearing explaining why Townsend should not serve 40 years.
Townsend’s family was in the courtroom Tuesday and was visibly upset about the plea deal.
Judge Jack Schemer asked Townsend during the hearing if he had discussed his intention to plead guilty with his mother. He said he had. When Schemer asked if she approved of the deal, she responded from the gallery, “No, your honor.”
Townsend said he decided to plead guilty despite his family’s objections.
“The State Attorney’s Office did not have contact with the defendant’s family, only on the night he was interviewed by the Sheriff’s Office,” Mizrahi said. “That is something you will have to ask the defense attorney. However, I think they were just upset that their son was going to prison.”
Townsend’s family declined to comment after the hearing.
The Department of Corrections has a special prison for juveniles, where Sharron Townsend will be housed with other minors until he turns 18. At that point, he will go into the adult population.