Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Brooksville's Joshua Langley gets 20 years for killing longtime friend

BROOKSVILLE — Once again, Joshua Langley finds himself bound for state prison. This time, it's a much better option for him than the alternative.

Langley, 33, avoided a trial and possible death sentence Wednesday by pleading guilty to the shooting death of a friend and alleged criminal associate three years ago. Circuit Court Judge Jack Springstead gave Langley a 20-year sentence on charges of second-degree murder with a firearm, robbery with a firearm and possession of a firearm by a felon.

"I think it was the best result possible," said Candace Hawthorne, Langley's court-appointed attorney. "The sentence reflects the appropriate justice in the case."

A native of Brooksville, Langley has been a regular on local court dockets for more than a decade. He served eight years in Florida prisons in other cases and most recently was released in November 2005.

A year later, Langley found himself in trouble again after his longtime friend Jac'Quez Jones was found shot in the head on Dec. 4, 2006, in the back yard of a home just north of Brooksville.

Langley fled and was eventually tracked down by authorities in Brunswick, Ga., between Jacksonville and Savannah, Ga.

He was charged with first-degree murder among other charges. Prosecutors said they would seek the death penalty.

But in November 2008, Springstead ruled Langley was incompetent to stand trial. At the time, Hawthorne argued that her client was "seriously ill" and taking antipsychotic drugs.

For the next year, Langley spent much of his time at the North Florida Evaluation and Treatment Center in Gainesville, where he underwent treatment to rehabilitate him to a level where he would be able to help with his defense and understand the severity of his charges.

He was found competent to stand trial on Oct. 29.

Assistant State Attorney Pete Magrino said he was eager to resolve the case, given Langley's previous mental health issues and the "quality of the lay witnesses."

"No question, he's a dangerous individual," Magrino said.

Though Hawthorne was satisfied with the plea, she said Langley didn't mean to shoot Jones. During a dispute over drug deal, she said, Langley tried to slap Jones with his handgun but the weapon accidentally fired.

"It would have been difficult to humanize him" to a jury, Hawthorne said. "He wasn't a Boy Scout. But he's sad about what happened. He was very close" to Jones.

Members of Langley's family, including his wife, Allison, and sister, Veronica, said they were relieved he wasn't going to face death. They noted that with time served, Langley was going to spend about 17 years in prison.

"I think it was a good call," Allison Langley said. "Thank God for mercy."

Brooksville's Joshua Langley gets 20 years for killing longtime friend 12/23/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, December 23, 2009 7:02pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Review / photos: Sunset Music Festival brings Major Lazer, safety upgrades to Raymond James Stadium in Tampa

    Blogs

    Somewhere beyond the barricades and mountainous LED stages of the Sunset Music Festival, there had to be worry. There had to thousands of parents in parking lots and empty kitchens, anxiously distracting their minds, every now and then checking their phones.

    Major Lazer headlined the Sunset Music Festival on May 27, 2017 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa.
  2. 24-year-old man charged with murder in shooting at Andrea Cove Motel

    LARGO — Pinellas sheriff's officers arrested a 24-year-old transient man Saturday in connection with a homicide at the Andrea Cove Motel in unincorporated Largo.

  3. Photo gallery: Calvary Christian rolls to state title

    Blogs

    View a gallery of images from Calvary Christian's defeat of Pensacola Catholic 11-1 in six innings Saturday night at Hammond Stadium in Ft. Myers for the Class 4A title.

    Calvary Christian players circle up on the field before the FHSAA class 4A baseball championship against Pensacola Catholic on Friday May 27, 2017 at Hammond Stadium in Fort Myers, Fla. Calvary scored 6 runs in the first inning, and had 7 hits.
  4. Two girls found safe after being reported missing in New Port Richey

    UPDATE: Both girls were found safe Saturday night, police said.

  5. IT failure blamed for British Airways cancellations (w/video)

    Airlines

    LONDON — British Airways canceled all flights from London's Heathrow and Gatwick airports on Saturday as a global IT failure upended the travel plans of tens of thousands of people on a busy U.K. holiday weekend.

    Passengers wait at a British Airways check-in desk after the airport suffered an IT systems failure Saturday at London''s Gatwick Airport. [Associated Press]