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Murder trial witness pleads guilty to drug charges

BROOKSVILLE — A Brooksville man involved in a murder trial last month pleaded guilty to a dozen drug-related crimes Wednesday.

Thor Richmond, 24, left his sentence to Circuit Judge Jack Springstead, who gave him a combined 51/2 years in prison.

Richmond's numerous charges included trafficking in cocaine, two counts of selling drugs, three counts of drug possession and driving on a suspended license, among others.

The sentence is the lowest within the recommended guidelines, which is consistent with the judge's policy for open pleas, said Assistant State Attorney Sherry Byerly.

Richmond's attorney asked for a lighter punishment after his client testified in the murder trial of James Ray Booth. Byerly said at the time that she would not give Richmond special consideration in his own case in exchange for his testimony in the Booth trial.

Last week, Springstead sentenced Booth to life in prison for the death of Kenneth LaPointe Sr., who was shot while sitting at the kitchen table inside his Brooksville mobile home in October 2006.

The stray bullet that killed LaPointe was fired from a .22-caliber rifle during a struggle between Booth and Richmond, who was described at trial as the enforcer for a local drug dealer.

Booth's attorney's unsuccessfully argued that Richmond pulled the trigger.

John Frank can be reached at jfrank@sptimes.com or (352) 754-6114.

Murder trial witness pleads guilty to drug charges 06/11/08 [Last modified: Wednesday, June 11, 2008 7:48pm]
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