Remember this kid?
A 14-year-old boy who said he was merely imitating his pro wrestling heroes when he killed a young playmate was sentenced Friday to life in prison without parole — a fate that some jurors and even the prosecutor say is too harsh.
Broward County Judge Joel T. Lazarus imposed the mandatory sentence on Lionel Tate, calling his actions “cold, callous and indescribably cruel.”
Tears rolled down Tate’s face as his lawyer, his mother and several family friends asked the judge to reduce the first-degree murder conviction. But Lazarus said the trial was fair, the verdict just and that the sentence was mandated by law: “Incarceration for your natural life.”
Defense attorney Jim Lewis said he would ask Florida Gov. Jeb Bush to commute Tate’s sentence, and prosecutor Ken Padowitz said he would support the request. “This was a vicious, horrible murder. But I do not think that life is the appropriate sentence,” Padowitz said.
Tate was just 12 years old when he beat 6-year-old Tiffany Eunick to death in July 1999. During the January trial, Lewis mounted a “blame-pro-wrestling” defense, in which he failed to persuade jurors that the boy — who then weighed 166 pounds — accidentally killed 48-pound Tiffany by imitating the actions of his television heroes.
An autopsy showed that Tiffany had suffered a fractured skull, a lacerated liver, a broken rib, internal hemorrhaging and other injuries that even medical experts called by the defense agreed were inconsistent with horseplay.
Killed this innocent girl
and got away with it. Why, because all of the bleeding heart liberals cryed and whined until they let him go:
High-profile attorneys and grassroots community groups took up the boy’s cause, appealing to the governor, the pope and the United Nations. Tate’s conviction and sentence were overturned and he pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, and in January 2004, he was released from prison.
Now look what has happened:
Lionel Tate, the teen freed from prison after becoming the youngest person in modern U.S. history to be given a life sentence, was arrested for pulling a gun on a pizza delivery man at a friend’s apartment and beating up the friend, investigators said.
Tate, 18, was being held Tuesday at the Broward County Jail on charges of armed robbery of the driver, armed burglary with battery on the boy and probation violation.
probation following his release on a guilty plea to second-degree murder in the beating death of a 6-year-old family friend when he was 12. Tate was being held without bond on the probation violation charge and was expected to make his first court appearance Wednesday.
Tate called in a pizza order Monday from the friend’s apartment and pointed a gun at the delivery man when he arrived, said Broward sheriff’s spokeswoman Elizabeth Calzadilla-Fiallo. The man dropped the four pizzas and called police after returning to the restaurant.
Tate left the 12-year-old friend’s apartment while waiting for the pizza, forced his way back in when the boy resisted and repeatedly hit him before the delivery man arrived in this Fort Lauderdale suburb, said Calzadilla-Fiallo.
There is a real problem with our juvenile laws. I see this kind of stuff all the damn time. We arrest juveniles for some very serious crimes such as armed robbery, rape, GTA, assault with a deadly weapon…and they usually get some time at camp and then let go on probation. What do they learn? Nothing except our laws are a joke to be spit upon. Only when they find out that they could do serious time will they turn things around.
Should a 12 year old be locked up for life? Depends on the crime. Some crimes demand it. This kid was bad to begin with and should not see the light of day.
Let me see, the left will cry that we need to “understand” the criminal because he was abused as a child, his poor upbringing, the father left and blah blah blah….
The result of the left coddling? Our prisons become revolving doors. I just cannot tell you how many times I have seen guys get probation and time served for some pretty serious crimes. All that coddling crap is just that, crap. If they do the crime they need to the time…real time.