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State will seek death penalty for Andre R. Watkins in shooting rampage

TAMPA — Prosecutors announced Monday that they will seek the death penalty against Andre R. Watkins, the man accused of killing a teenager and wounding two men in a Feb. 12 shooting rampage in northwest Hillsborough.

Authorities said Watkins sprayed bullets in the Plantation subdivision, killing 19-year-old Alyssa Marie Aracich as she sat in a car.

From there, he went to another home in Plantation and shot Areil Love, 27, in the stomach, sending him to a hospital in critical condition, deputies said.

Deputies said Watkins then drove to a BP station at 5919 W Linebaugh Ave. and shot 57-year-old store clerk Akbar Alwani.

Watkins initially refused the services of a public defender, saying he would hire his own attorney.

But at Monday's hearing, Hills­borough Circuit Judge Daniel Sleet allowed that attorney, Dominic Fariello, to withdraw from the first-degree murder case.

Sleet appointed the Public Defender's Office to represent Watkins.

Colleen Jenkins can be reached at cjenkins@sptimes.com or (813) 226-3337.

State will seek death penalty for Andre R. Watkins in shooting rampage 04/12/10 [Last modified: Monday, April 12, 2010 11:43pm]
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