Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Former Walker Middle School student makes deal to testify in teen's rape case

TAMPA — The boy said Randall John Moye III held him down as other flag football teammates raped him multiple times with a broom handle and hockey stick in a Walker Middle School locker room. He said Moye also threatened him off the field.

"You're gonna get it today at practice," the boy claimed Moye told him.

Last summer, prosecutors charged Moye with four counts of adult felony sexual battery. But Wednesday, the Hillsborough State Attorney's Office agreed to let him plead guilty to a single count of felony battery in exchange for truthful testimony against his three codefendants.

The move benefits both Moye and the state.

If he lives up to his end of the bargain, Moye, 15, will receive juvenile sanctions.

His testimony could repair damage in the prosecution's case inflicted by two medical exams that defense attorneys have said showed no signs of sexual assault on the victim, and a state crime lab analysis that could not determine whether traces of DNA found on a hockey stick and a broom belonged to the teenage suspects.

"This appears to be a very significant favorable development for the state," said defense attorney John Fitzgibbons, who is not involved in the case. "Some of the scientific evidence has been problematic, but if the state has Mr. Moye's cooperation, then that will be eyewitness testimony from a person involved in the activities.

"The potential is there," he said, "for very damaging testimony against the other defendants."

Attorney Tim Taylor, who represents Lee Louis Myers, said none of Moye's past statements implicated his client. Taylor has maintained that Myers, 15, did not participate in a sexual assault, and the state dropped two of four counts against him.

"I'm hoping (Moye's future) statements are consistent with his previous statements," Taylor said Wednesday.

Raymond Price-Murray and Diemante J. Roberts, both 15, still face four counts each of sexual battery.

All four defendants provided written statements after the allegations came to light. In his account, Moye, who goes by R.J., recalled Roberts claiming to have hit the victim in the face after Roberts said the victim grabbed a rosary given to him by his grandmother.

Part of Moye's statement is scratched out but still legible. He wrote that he, Roberts and Price-Murray were messing around with the victim in the locker room at the Odessa school after practice. Moye said he grabbed the victim and wrestled him to the ground, and Roberts poked the victim in the rear end with a hockey stick.

According to investigative documents, at least one witness saw Moye push the victim down twice and others saw Moye pinning the victim down.

Moye will not be sentenced on the battery charge until the other teens' cases are resolved.

The Department of Juvenile Justice will evaluate him and make recommendations for his punishment, which could range from incarceration to probation.

Assistant State Attorney Kimberly Hindman asked that the evaluation include whether Moye needs psychological or sex offender treatment.

Hindman said the other three counts against Moye will be dropped if he testifies truthfully. She said the victim, who was not in court, was aware of the plea deal and may speak at Moye's sentencing.

If Moye fails to cooperate, he could still be sentenced as an adult and receive the maximum penalty of five years in prison. He will not be allowed to withdraw his plea.

Moye, who no longer lives in Hillsborough County, and his father had no comment after the hearing.

Colleen Jenkins can be reached at cjenkins@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3337.

CORRECTION: Randall J. Moye III is represented by attorney Maura Doherty. Earlier versions of this story appearing in print and online misspelled Doherty's name.

Former Walker Middle School student makes deal to testify in teen's rape case 02/10/10 [Last modified: Thursday, February 11, 2010 9:20am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Worker critically injured after falling off truck in Clearwater

    Accidents

    A Zephyrhills man was critically injured early Thursday morning when he fell off the back of a road construction vehicle.

  2. Electricity poles and lines lay toppled on the road after Hurricane Maria hit the eastern region of the island, in Humacao, Puerto Rico, Tuesday, September 20, 2017. The strongest hurricane to hit Puerto Rico in more than 80 years destroyed hundreds of homes, knocked out power across the entire island and turned some streets into raging rivers in an onslaught that could plunge the U.S. territory deeper into financial crisis. [Associated Press]
  3. Trigaux: For Class of 2016, college debt loads favor Florida graduates

    Banking

    Florida college graduates saddled with student debt: Take heart. The average debt Class of 2016 Florida grads must bear is less than students in most states.

    University of South Florida undergraduates gather at the USF Sun Dome in Tampa for last fall's commencement ceremony. A new survey finds their average student debt upon graduating was $22,276. Statewide, 2016 Florida grads ranked a relatively unencumbered 45th among states, averaging $24,461 in student debt. [Photo Luis Santana | Times]
  4. Romano: One person, one vote is not really accurate when it comes to Florida

    Politics

    Imagine this:

    Your mail-in ballot for the St. Petersburg mayoral election has just arrived. According to the fine print, if you live on the west side of the city, your ballot will count as one vote. Meanwhile, a ballot in St. Pete's northeast section counts for three votes.

    Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections worker Andrea West adds mail ballots to an inserter Sept. 22 at the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections Service Center in Largo. (SCOTT KEELER   |   Times)
  5. St. Petersburg will hold first budget hearing tonight

    Local Government

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Sunshine City's new property tax rate looks exactly like its current rate. For the second year in a row, Mayor Rick Kriseman does not plan to ask City Council for a tax hike or a tax cut.

    Mayor Rick Kriseman talks about the state of the city on Tuesday, two days after Hiurricane Irma passed through the state. [EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times]