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Jason Beckman faces life in prison for killing ex-commissioner father

Teacher, detective among witnesses to testify in sentencing hearing

Jason Beckman was expressionless during his sentencing hearing, occasionally looking around the courtroom.
Jason Beckman was expressionless during his sentencing hearing, occasionally looking around the courtroom.

MIAMI – The son of a former South Miami commissioner convicted of killing his father was being sentenced Friday.

Jason Beckman was convicted of first-degree murder last year.

Beckman shot and killed his father, former South Miami Commissioner Jay Beckman, in 2009. He was 17 at the time.

Assistant state attorney Gail Levine and Beckman's attorney, Herb Smith, called several witnesses to testify during the sentencing hearing.

The first witness was Miami-Dade police Detective Juan Segovia, who talked about a list in which Beckman listed his enemies. Beckman's father was at the top of the list.

Next to take the stand was Alba Tapanes, a former teacher of Beckman's at South Miami Senior High School. She was also on the list. 

"I felt threatened, and I still feel threatened," she said on the stand.

She told the court she believed Beckman had some form of autism because of his behavior in her class.

"At times the eye contact was not good, and he appeared socially awkward," she testified. 

Levine also read an email written by Beckman's uncle, Witt Beckman. He wrote that he has no issue with the state seeking a life sentence. He also wrote about how much Jay Beckman loved his son.

"Whenever I talked to Jay he always talked about Jason and tell me how well he was doing," Levine read aloud.

Beckman was expressionless during his sentencing, occasionally looking around the room. 

He faces 25 years to life in prison, but prosecutors are seeking a life sentence.

His sentencing has already been delayed twice.

As of early Friday afternoon, witnesses were still being called to testify.

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