Teen who killed St. Pete cop to be resentenced
Officers attend resentencing of teen who killed St. Pete police officer in 2011
LARGO, Fla. (AP) — Some two dozen police officers crowded into a Largo courtroom Monday for the resentencing of a teenager who killed a St. Petersburg officer.
Nicholas Lindsey was 16 when he shot Officer David S. Crawford five times on Feb. 21, 2011. He was sentenced to life in prison after his trial last year.
After the sentencing, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that automatic life-without-parole sentences for juveniles are not constitutional. The court mandated that other factors must be considered, including the youths' mental development and background.
This summer, a Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Court granted a motion allowing Lindsey to be resentenced.
St. Petersburg Chief Chuck Harmon told the Tampa Bay Times he wanted to show support for Crawford and make sure that Lindsey gets "the appropriate sentence, and that's life."
Arrangements were made for the overflow crowd to watch the proceedings from a TV in a conference room.
Officers from several agencies joined Harmon on Monday morning.
Jurors deliberated four hours last year before finding Lindsey guilty of first-degree murder. His attorneys didn't deny that he killed the officer. Rather, they claimed he fired at the officer out of panic and should have been convicted of manslaughter instead. That way, he would have been eligible for a 30-year prison sentence instead of life without the possibility of early release.
During the trial, defense attorneys said the teen was illegally armed to protect himself against neighborhood gangs. But prosecutors said he knew exactly what he was doing when he fired at Crawford. The officer was trying to stop him for questioning.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.