Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Citrus man gets life sentence for death of 18-year-old woman

INVERNESS — Throughout the weeklong murder trial of Byron Lee Boutin, Melba Nephew, the mother of 18-year-old victim DeAnna Lee Stires, never spoke a word in court.

But on Thursday, just before sentencing the man convicted in the December murder of her daughter, Citrus County Circuit Judge Richard H. Howard allowed Nephew to have her say via video feed from Rochester, N.Y.

Seated with her 14-year-old daughter, Alyssa, and her husband, John, Nephew expressed her wish for Boutin to receive the maximum sentence allowed by law.

"I want him to suffer," she said in a trembling voice. "I hope he suffers every day for what he took from me and my family."

As he did throughout most of his trial in August, the 42-year-old Boutin sat silently and with his head down as Howard sentenced him to life in prison with no possibility of parole.

Noting that the accused once held a life of promise working as an avionics specialist aboard some of the Navy's most advanced aircraft carriers, Howard admonished Boutin for allowing his life to veer off track and spiral into a dark, sinister world of drugs, which ultimately contributed to the death last December of Stires, a Brooksville resident.

"It wasn't worth the young woman's life," Howard said. "Or your life."

Boutin originally faced a first-degree murder charge after being arrested along with 36-year-old Crystal Michelle Brinson after Stires' body was discovered in a remote wooded area in Levy County. A 12-member Citrus County jury took 3 1/2 hours to decide that Boutin was guilty of second-degree murder.

As he did at Boutin's trial, defense attorney Charles Vaughn stated that his client's participation in the killing was minor at best, and that it was Brinson who on Dec. 24 injected Stires with a lethal dose of morphine after Boutin discovered she had stolen his methamphetamine at his home in Homosassa.

Assistant State Attorney Pete Magrino argued that the evidence and testimony at the trial didn't support Vaughn's claim.

Boutin, Magrino said, was a cold-blooded killer who "bound (Stires) up and left her to die" after she was injected with the morphine.

Brinson remains incarcerated in the Citrus County Detention Facility. Her trial date has not been set.

Logan Neill can be reached at [email protected] or (352) 848-1435.

Citrus man gets life sentence for death of 18-year-old woman 09/26/13 [Last modified: Thursday, September 26, 2013 7:53pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. David Letterman's friends — and shrink — make his Twain ceremony as funny as his late-night legacy

    The Feed

    For years, David Letterman, consumed by insecurities and the relentless pace of a nightly television program, would respond to the loud cheers of his audience with a strained smile and a half-scolding, half-embarrassed wave to "cut that out."

    David Letterman is honored with the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on Sunday, Oct. 22, 2017, in Washington, D.C. [Owen Sweeney | Invision | AP]
  2. Target says customers want it to pause the Christmas creep

    Retail

    NEW YORK — Target says customers want it to pause the "Christmas creep." It says it wants to be more in tune with customers' mindset, so it plans to ease in holiday promotions this year while better recognizing Thanksgiving.

     Target says customers want it to pause the "Christmas creep." It says it wants to be more in tune with customers' mindset, so it plans to ease in holiday promotions this year while better recognizing Thanksgiving. This is Target's new store in Manhattan's Herald Square that opened last week. 
[Kavita Kumar/Minneapolis Star Tribune/TNS]
  3. Foo Fighters coming to the MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheatre in Tampa

    Blogs

    It's times like these we learn to love Mondays again.

    Foo Fighters
  4. Lightning needs to hold onto Sergachev

    Blogs

    Here’s hoping the Lightning holds onto Mikhail Sergachev.

    Mikhail Sergachev has scored his first three NHL goals in his last two NHL games.
  5. Developers raise offers for city-owned land

    Local Government

    TEMPLE TERRACE — Two of the four developers under consideration to buy and build on city-owned land in the downtown redevelopment area have upped their offers by $1 million or more.

    Temple Terrace city  council-member Cheri Donohue asked for detailed plans from developers bidding for redevelop-ment prop-erties.