KEY WEST, Fla. – In an unusual move Tuesday, defense attorneys for the Key West business owner accused of murdering a 21-year-old man the day prior agreed that the 57-year-old should remain in jail.
Lloyd Preston Brewer III faced a Monroe County judge via video to face second-degree murder and weapons charges in the death of Garrett Hughes.
Prosecutors said Brewer shot and killed Hughes just before 12:30 a.m. Monday outside the Searstown shopping center along North Roosevelt Boulevard, after confronting Hughes for urinating behind Conch Town Liquor and Lounge.
Brewer does not own the bar, but property records show he owns the building containing the bar and other tenants.
Monroe County State Attorney Dennis Ward said surveillance video showed Brewer, who was also drunk, getting out of his car to confront Hughes, who was shirtless and unarmed.
Prosecutors said both men were intoxicated at the time.
“(Hughes) is kind of stumbling around and (Brewer) pulls up his shirt, pulls out a gun and pumps a shot into his stomach,” Ward said.
He said after likely firing another shot, Brewer then called 911 to report that he shot Hughes in self-defense, “but the video doesn’t support that theory.”
Tran Hinh, who lives near the crime scene, told Local 10 News Tuesday that he didn’t hear an altercation, but did hear multiple gunshots.
“I walked out and said ‘Wow, police lights all over, somebody got hurt or something,’” Hinh said.
His family viewed the court proceedings Tuesday. They described Garrett as a loving son with a tight-knit group of friends.
Garrett Hughes’ father, John, is the head football coach at Key West High School.
“Obviously we are heartbroken, but the love and support from the Key West community and beyond has provided some comfort,” John Hughes said in a statement to Local 10 News Tuesday evening. “Garrett had a smile that could light up a room and was a friend to everyone. He was passionate and loyal when it came to his family and friends, and was so proud of his island home. He will be greatly missed.”
The Monroe County School District remembered Hughes as a “standout athlete” at Key West High School, saying in a statement that he was “giving back to the community through volunteer coaching of our youth.”
“We are grieving for Coach John Hughes, his wife Tiffany and Garrett’s mother Lesley Touzalin,” Monroe County School District Superintendent Theresa Axford said. “He was an extraordinary young man whose commitment to our students and our athletic programs was deeply appreciated. He is an incredible loss to us and the community. Our prayers and love go to the family as well as to all who knew and loved Garrett.”
The judge agreed to hold Brewer in the Monroe County Jail without bond.
“I think it would serve justice to go ahead and allow Brewer to remain incarcerated,” Don Yates, Brewer’s attorney, said in court.
Local 10 News reached out to Yates for comment on the case but has not heard back.
Brewer is scheduled to appear in court for a hearing on March 2.
Editor’s note: A previous version of this article mistakenly stated that Hughes owned the building. The article has been updated to correctly identify Brewer as the building’s owner.