FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA – On Friday, a jury convicted two South Florida men in the 2006 beating death of a homeless man. Brian Hooks, 21, and Thomas Daugherty, 19, were teenagers at the time of the beating, and surveillance videos of the incident ignited outrage among homeless advocates around the county. The videos show Hooks and Thomas beating a homeless men with baseball bats as the man tries to sleep on a park bench.
Prosecutors sought first-degree murder charges, but after deliberating for nine hours over the course of two days, the jury convicted the two of second-degree murder and two counts each of attempted second-degree murder. They await sentencing, which could be as much as life in prison. Because Daugherty was 17 at the time of the beatings, he was not eligible for capital punishment.
In May, William Ammons, 21, pleaded guilty to felony murder and aggravated assault for the same incident. He had also testified again Daugherty and Hooks, but criminal defense attorneys claimed his inconsistent statements invalidated his testimony. Ammons has admitted lying to police 80 times.
Fla. men guilty in beating homeless man to death, Associated Press, September 19, 2008
Those who are charged with violent crimes should contact an experienced Florida criminal defense lawyer. The Law Offices of William Moore are located in Fort Lauderdale and North Fort Lauderdale Beach.