Pasco Teen, Harleme Larry, killed Agustin Hernandez, a married father of two, in a robbery that netted him $4. Larry was 14. Jurors deliberated 10 hours in June and found him guilty of first-degree murder.
In Florida, someone convicted of first-degree murder has two sentencing options — the death penalty or life in prison without the possibility for parole. However, a 2012 U.S. Supreme Court case — Miller vs. Alabama — struck down mandatory life sentences without the possibility of parole for juveniles. It meant Siracusa had more leeway in his sentencing, and was not mandated to sentence Larry to life.
“A life without the possibility of redemption isn’t appropriate for a 14-year-old,” he said.
The proceedings had been postponed twice, most recently because Siracusa wanted to review Larry’s detention records.
Siracusa sought the testimony of Dr. Charles Wheaton, who said he felt Larry’s behavior while incarcerated was antisocial and anti-authority but didn’t necessarily predict his future. Larry’s records showed he cursed at detention staff and one time told a deputy to shut up. Another time he hit a sergeant.
“Is there anything that suggests he’s not capable of being rehabilitated in the future?” Siracusa asked the doctor.
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