LARGO — A Sept. 23 sentencing hearing has been set for Nicholas Lindsey, the teenager convicted last year of killing St. Petersburg Police Officer David S. Crawford.
Lindsey shot and killed Crawford in 2011. After his conviction he was immediately sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, the only possible sentence he could receive as a juvenile for first-degree murder under Florida law.
But after his sentencing, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that it is unconstitutional to give juveniles mandatory sentences of life without parole. The high court said judges must at least consider alternative punishments, even if a life term without parole is ultimately the fate they decide to give.
The Pinellas-Pasco Public Defender's office says it will present witnesses on Lindsey's behalf at the hearing with hopes of winning a sentence that will allow him to be released from prison some day. The State Attorney's Office is expected to argue that even under the new Supreme Court ruling, Lindsey deserves a life sentence.
Lindsey was 16 when he shot Crawford. He is 18 now.
In an unrelated case, Lindsey's father, Nicholas Lindsey Sr., was sentenced earlier this week to five years in prison on drug charges.