Pair arrested in fatal shooting of Auburndale teenager

Pair arrested in fatal shooting of Auburndale teenager
Pair arrested in fatal shooting of Auburndale teenager

AUBURNDALE, Fla. (WFLA) – Authorities in Polk County have arrested two men in connection with the shooting death of a Winter Haven teenager.

The body of 17-year-old Larry James Graham was found lying in the front yard of a home in the 100 block of Kim St. in Auburndale just after midnight on May 23rd. Witnesses reporting seeing the teen fall just after a gunshot rang out.

According to a Polk County Sheriff’s Office report 19-year-old Todd Gates Jr. and 20-year-old Jacob Byers are facing a variety of charges including first-degree murder. Investigators say the suspects drove with the victim to Auburndale looking for someone to rob.

Graham died from a gunshot wound. Detectives identified Gates Jr. and Byers as the two men with Graham during the botched robbery. Gates Jr., who was already in jail at the time of this arrest, is also facing drug, robbery, weapons and conspiracy charges.

Byers turned himself into the Polk County Jail late Friday. Both suspects are being held without bond. He is facing similar charges as well as one count of grand theft auto and one count of attempted armed burglary.

“The successful conclusion of this homicide investigation was brought about by the tireless work of our Bureau of Criminal Investigations detectives, crime scene investigators and support personnel,” said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd. “These young men learned a life-changing less, that committing violent crimes often has very dire circumstances.”

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