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Pasco jury convicts man of murder in 7-Eleven clerk's death

Adam Moyer, 20, and attorney Dennis Watson, left, based their defense on testimony about the color of Moyer’s eyes.

BRENDAN FITTERER | Times

Adam Moyer, 20, and attorney Dennis Watson, left, based their defense on testimony about the color of Moyer’s eyes.

NEW PORT RICHEY — A jury on Friday deliberated just 45 minutes before convicting Adam Moyer of murder in the death of a 7-Eleven clerk.

Moyer, 20, and co-defendant Russell Lane, 32, robbed the store on 9039 Ridge Road around 1:30 a.m. on Jan. 10, 2012, authorities say.

Danny Foster, a 61-year-old clerk who was a month away from retirement, was knocked to the ground by Lane and later died.

Moyer did not react when the verdict was read. Because he was 17 at the time of the offense, he cannot be sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. His sentencing is scheduled for April 4.

In a video shown in court, two men barge into the store, both wearing hoodies. One has his face covered, one does not. The masked man goes behind the counter and demands money — he nets $33. Lane, with his face uncovered, tussles with Foster, whose head hit the concrete, authorities say.

Foster lay in the doorway while Lane and the masked man escaped. He slipped into a coma and died weeks later.

The state called numerous deputies who testified about how they found the two men shortly after the robbery in a nearby area. Forensic specialists matched Moyer's shoeprints to the scene and his DNA on the blue hooded sweatshirt. They found $33 in ones and fives, cigarettes and beer, and discarded clothes.

Lane and Moyer were being tried together, but earlier this week Lane pleaded guilty mid-trial. He had seen jurors' faces while they watched the video, and according to his lawyer, he said, "I've had enough."

"This was a purposeful act done in the commission of a robbery," prosecutor Chris Labruzzo told jurors before they deliberated Moyer's fate Friday.

Defense Attorney Dennis Watson said the man in the video, in the blue sweatshirt, was not his client, and it was a case of mistaken identity.

Instead of calling witnesses, he asked the jury to look at the color of Moyer's eyes. Thomas Kent, the other clerk in the store, testified that Moyer's eyes were blue. Clearly, Watson said, his client's eyes were hazel.

Pasco jury convicts man of murder in 7-Eleven clerk's death 02/14/14 [Last modified: Friday, February 14, 2014 7:44pm]
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