Johnson, now 22, wept throughout the drawn-out hear Friday at which his syndicate and friends expressed doubt about his guilt in the murder of James Beck, 44. He was described as an introvert, a son who liked football but was never aggressive, who had to switch schools to protect himself from bullies. Doctors diagnosed him with an cerebral disability ; he ’ five hundred attended special education classes. To Beck ’ s family, though, the prospect of lingering doubts was offensive. The jury had spoken ; Johnson was a murderer. “ My son ’ s syndicate is all destroyed because of a stupid adolescent bringing a gun to a sale, ” said Beck ’ mho mother, Judy Quinones. “ My son is dead. I ’ meter going to repeat that over and over. My son is dead. ” The crime occurred Jan. 31, 2017. Beck ’ s then-15-year-old son, Stuart, had advertised a Kawasaki dirt motorcycle for sale on Craigslist. He exchanged emails, text messages and call calls with a potential buyer in Tampa, agreeing to deliver the bicycle for $ 1,200. late that day, the founder and son made the 50-minute drive from their Holiday home to east Tampa, the motorcycle strapped down in the bed of their pickup. Near the corner of 18th Street and E 24th Avenue, Stuart Beck said, they met a improbable man and a shorter man. The shortstop man asked for a screen ride. James Beck asked for to see the money first. The improbable serviceman pulled out a stack of cash, which included several $ 1 bills, according to court testimony. James Beck looked through it, handed it back and said it looked like the incorrect amount. The tall man drew a pistol and demanded the pair ’ sulfur cell phones, Stuart Beck testified. His beget told him to get second in the hand truck, then moved toward the driver ’ s seat. then there was gunfire. The taw ran off. The early man got in the truck bed, hopped on the bicycle and drove away. Stuart Beck made a frantic call to 911. His forefather was taken to a hospital, where he died from multiple gunfire wounds .
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Want more of our loose, hebdomadally newsletters in your inbox ? Let’s get started.Explore all your options Police late linked the phone number Stuart Beck had called and texted to Ramontrae Williams. The son late identified Williams as the brusque man. When questioned, Williams at first minimized his participation, but late admitted he stole the bicycle. He identified Johnson as the shooter. Stuart Beck was late shown a photograph batting order and identified Johnson ’ s double as the improbable man who shot his father.
Williams pleaded guilty to his function in the crime and received a 12-year prison prison term. Judge Ward noted that although Johnson was convicted of being the shot, he was not the one who planned the crime. She besides said she found Williams ’ testimony at trial to be unreliable. “ I do believe the sentences in this encase are disproportionate, ” she said, opining that she found Williams ’ 12-year term to be “ nauseating. ” early on in the case, defense attorneys raised concerns about Johnson ’ s competence to face test due to an cerebral disability. He spent time in a department of state hospital. The case was further delayed when the COVID-19 pandemic put jury trials and other court matters on accommodate. Johnson ’ s family recounted his breeding in Tampa ’ s public house communities. He was one of seven children. His father died when he was 15. He stood over 6-feet tall, but family said he was faint and unfairly judged because of his size. “ I do apologize for what happened to James Beck, ” said his mother, Rahlawn Johnson. “ But that was not my son. ” At Blake High School, he got picked on and threatened for being from the wrong vicinity. His mother transferred him to Plant High School. He was a lineman on the football team. Misty Winter, who ran the football platform, took a wish to him. Coaches, she said, would get frustrated with him as he was reluctant to use his size and persuasiveness on the playing field. When other players fought or disagreed, she said, Johnson was the one who stepped in to make peace. winter and her conserve, Lee Winter, had Johnson to their home for meals. He late became something of a deputy son, staying at their home, appearing in syndicate photos with the couple and their children. “ I know person needs to pay, ” Winter said in motor hotel. “ But I know Dontae did not pull that trigger. ” She spoke of what Johnson had told her about the crime and what she ’ vitamin d gathered from talking to neighbors near the crime scene. He didn ’ t even own a gun, she said. Beck ’ s family rundle of the man they lost. James Beck was a beget of three. He met his wife, Suzanne, when they were high school. He liked fishing and being on the water and bought a family on a riverbank cul-de-sac, with access to the Gulf of Mexico. “ I feel like I was Cinderella and he rescued me, ” Suzanne Beck said. “ He was my prince and I ’ thousand lost without him and so are a set of early people. ”
Since his death, the family has struggled to maintain a static life, they said. Stuart Beck, nowadays 20, speak of anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress after seeing his dad fail. “ I precisely miss my forefather, ” he said. “ And I feel there ’ s truly no justice to it. ”