DADE CITY — A teen who shot a Pasco sheriff's deputy during a 2008 Lacoochee convenience store robbery was sentenced Thursday to 25 years in prison.
Antonio Lee Murray had previously pleaded no contest to attempted felony murder and armed burglary.
Murray was 16 when, authorities say, he and friend Robert Anthony Green broke into Sam's Quick Mart on Aug. 7, 2008, and took jewelry, electronics, clothing and the store owner's semiautomatic handgun. Deputy Jeffrey Chandler and another deputy arrived at the store after the alarm went off.
Panicked and searching for a way out, Murray and Green fired at the front window, intending to break through the metal shutters covering it. One bullet struck Chandler, who escaped serious injury, in part because of a bullet-proof vest and a metal business card holder in his breast pocket that slowed the bullet.
Since he has been in jail, Murray has taken high school classes and earned straight A's. His attorney asked for a departure from sentencing guidelines based on his efforts while locked up.
But Circuit Judge Pat Siracusa told him, "you show promise when you are in custody. But you are a menace to society when you are out on the street."
Before the sentence was announced, Murray stood and faced Chandler to apologize. "I'm sorry for what happened that night," Murray, now 17, said. "I'm serious, my apology comes from deep down. ... "If I knew you was on the other side of that window, I would have never shot."