A 26-year-old Florida man has been found guilty of the murder of a 16-year-old during a video game gathering.
A Sumter County jury delivered a verdict of guilty against 26-year-old Bacarri Justice Austell of Wildwood for second-degree murder with a firearm.
The jury ultimately found Austell possessed and discharged a firearm, resulting in the tragic death of 16-year-old Chris’sean Williams.
The incident unfolded at Royal Park, where Austell, during a video game gathering, pursued and fired four rounds at the victim, fatally striking him in the head.
“The successful verdict of this case underscores the importance of teamwork, by numerous entities, in ensuring justice is served,” said William “Bill” Gladson, Fifth Judicial Circuit State Attorney. “I’d like to extend my office’s sincerest appreciation to the collaborative efforts of the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office, Sumter County Fire Rescue, Medical Examiner’s Office, and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Thank you for aiding us in our efforts to hold offenders accountable and give a voice to crime victims.”
Austell claimed he thought the victim was a person who had threatened him on a different day. In one of the many various statements he made to law enforcement, Austell said he was in “fear for his life” and shot the victim.
Despite this claim of justifiable use of deadly force, diligent work by Inspector Knight, Det. Warren, CID detectives, and the Forensic team of the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) proved this claim false.
Austell’s sentencing is anticipated in mid-December. He now faces a 25-year minimum mandatory sentence, with a maximum term of life imprisonment.
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