BROOKSVILLE — A Brooksville teen linked to a robbery and shooting in Spring Hill last year has reached a plea deal that will send him to prison for more than a decade.
Brandon Langley, 19, pleaded guilty last week to robbery with a firearm. He was sentenced to 15 years to be followed by two years of probation. Prosecutors dropped an attempted felony murder charge as part of the deal.
Authorities say Langley shot Angel Machicote during a drug deal in October 2011, a block from Stewey's Skatepark. Langley was 17 at the time but prosecutors charged him as an adult.
A second man, 19-year-old Shaquille "Shack" Lawson, pleaded guilty last year to principal to robbery with a firearm and accessory after the fact, agreeing to cooperate in Langley's case with hopes of receiving a lighter sentence. He has not been sentenced.
According to prosecutors, Lawson agreed to buy a bag of marijuana from Angel Machicote, who was 20 at the time. They met at a house on Academy Avenue, south of Spring Hill Drive between U.S. 19 and Deltona Boulevard.
Langley and Machicote started arguing over the amount in the bag, and Langley pulled a gun, said Assistant State Attorney Rob Lewis. Langley and Machicote struggled, and Machicote was shot twice. Langley took Machicote's wallet, a piece of jewelry and the marijuana and both men fled.
After his arrest, Langley told investigators he hadn't seen Lawson in two years and wasn't in the neighborhood that day, Lewis said.
But Lawson and Machicote gave the same account of what happened that day, and they did not talk to corroborate their stories, Lewis said. Witnesses were set to testify that they had seen Lawson in the neighborhood that day.
"So Brandon was going to have a tough time convincing a jury that now, if he got on the stand, he was telling the truth," Lewis said.
Langley's attorney, Derek Saltsman, said he could have raised doubt in a jury's mind that Langley pulled the trigger based on forensic evidence and inconsistencies in Machicote's account.
If convicted on the attempted murder charge, however, Langley faced a possible life prison term.
"I feel in my heart he was not the shooter in this case, but we had to do what was in Brandon's best interest," Saltsman said. "It was a situation where he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and who you associate with tends to affect you."
Langley did not have a prior criminal record. Circuit Judge Anthony Tatti rejected Saltsman's request to sentence Langley as a youthful offender, which would have capped his prison term at six years.
Machicote has recovered and is attending college, Lewis said.
Reach Tony Marrero at firstname.lastname@example.org or (352) 848-1431. Follow @tmarrerotimes on Twitter.