Polk slaying suspects plead guilty to lesser charges

Polk County Sheriff's Office

BARTOW, Fla. (AP) — The two suspects in the 2016 slaying of a Florida man have pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

Prosecutors reportedly offered 20-year-olds Todd Gates Jr. and Jacob Byers, who were both originally charged with first-degree murder, the plea deal when witness accounts became inconsistent. Polk County Sheriff’s Office reports say a 17-year-old Larry Graham jumped a fence and was walking down Kim Street in Auburndale on May 23, 2016, when a man wearing a gray ski mask jumped the same fence and leveled a shotgun at Graham.

Graham died after being shot once in the face.

Gate and Byers also face other charges including attempted armed robbery.

Gate is sentenced to 25 years in prison and 2 years’ probation. Byers is sentenced to 15 years in prison.


WFLA.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s