Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Testimony tells of assassination-style killings of Derek Pieper, Raymond Veluz

Luc Pierre-Charles, center, on trial in two murders, talks with attorneys Richard Watts, left, and Lane Lastinger on Thursday.


Luc Pierre-Charles, center, on trial in two murders, talks with attorneys Richard Watts, left, and Lane Lastinger on Thursday.

DADE CITY — Many of the witnesses in Luc Pierre-Charles' double-murder trial have this in common: criminal records.

But they're also consistent in the accounts they say Pierre-Charles gave them of how he killed two Wesley Chapel teenagers in the summer of 2006.

One recalled hearing the teens plead for their lives.

Angel Brooks was with the group the night of the murders. She was with her boyfriend, Jeremy Henry, a Pierre-Charles' associate, when Derek Pieper and Raymond Veluz, two friends from Wesley Chapel High School who bought drugs from Pierre-Charles, showed up.

Brooks testified that the last time she saw them, they were sitting in the back seat of Veluz's car. Pierre-Charles was driving. Another man, Tyree Jenkins, was next to him in the front seat.

About an hour later, Brooks said, Andre Pierre-Charles, Luc's brother, got a phone call. He answered and put it on speaker phone. It was Luc, she said.

"Did you hear Luc … telling the boys to get down on their hands and knees and pray?" Assistant State Attorney Manny Garcia asked.

"Yes, sir," Brooks said.

"And could you hear the boys saying, 'Please don't do this'?" Garcia asked.

"Yes, sir," Brooks said.

Pieper, 17, and Veluz, 18, were found shot execution-style on a dirt road in Trilby on July 28, 2006. Prosecutors say Pierre-Charles, now 21, pulled the trigger to protect his drug trade. Jenkins is also charged.

Pierre-Charles, who was on the run until his arrest in October, faces two counts of first-degree murder. He could get a death sentence.

The 14-member jury is back for a second week of the trial. Because of the death penalty issue, it took three days last week to seat a jury. Prosecutors then began presenting witnesses and evidence. They rested their case Monday afternoon.

The defense will put on its case today, and closing arguments could come as early as this afternoon.

Reluctant witness

Brooks was a reluctant witness, appearing only because she was subpoenaed. Defense attorney Lane Lastinger grabbed at inconsistencies in her statements over time and sought to discredit her.

"Would it be a fair statement, you don't like Luc Pierre-Charles very much?" was his first question.

"You could say that," Brooks answered.

"Would that be a yes?" Lastinger said.

"Yes," Brooks answered.

Lastinger then pointed out that Brooks had told authorities in previous interviews that she didn't get a very good look at the boys in the back of the car, that she didn't know who called Andre later that night and had never mentioned the call being on speaker phone.

Brooks did not dispute those assertions.

But then Garcia stood up again, informing the jury that Jeremy Henry, Brooks' boyfriend, had been murdered just weeks after the two teens' killings.

"And you've been afraid, haven't you?" Garcia asked Brooks.

"Yes," she said.

"You're afraid to be here today, aren't you?" Garcia asked.


Anthony Harris also took the stand Monday. He was working as a confidential informer for the Drug Enforcement Administration in 2006 when, he said, he had a conversation with Luc Pierre-Charles about the murders.

"He said he unloaded numerous times in the back of one boy's head," Harris testified. "And he said Tyree unloaded into the other boy's head."

John Blanford, who is currently incarcerated, is Pierre-Charles' cousin. His testimony suggested a reason for the killings.

Said Blanford: "He and Tyree wanted to bag their first bodies."

Molly Moorhead can be reached at or (727) 869-6245.

Testimony tells of assassination-style killings of Derek Pieper, Raymond Veluz 03/16/09 [Last modified: Monday, March 16, 2009 9:09pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Hard to believe NFL overtime change is about player safety


    If someone's house was engulfed in flames, would you hand him a fire extinguisher?

    Of course not.

    Fans await the beginning of overtime between the Patriots and Falcons in Super Bowl LI in February. [Associated Press]
  2. Winning high school essays urge balance in U.S. foreign, domestic spending


    Three winners were selected by a panel of judges from among 250 entrants to receive a $1,200 scholarship in the R.F. "Red" Pittman Tampa Tribune Scholars essay contest.

  3. Tampa Tribune scholarships inspire students to keep digging for facts



    When the Tampa Tribune launched a scholarship for Hillsborough County's top high school seniors more than 50 years ago, no one could have guessed it would one day be turned over to the newspaper's rival, now called the Tampa Bay Times.

  4. Port Tampa Bay secures $9 million grant to deepen Big Bend Channel


    Port Tampa Bay has secured a $9 million grant from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for the widening and deepening of the Big Bend Channel in southern Hillsborough County.

  5. Photos of the week: 20 great images from around the globe


    This week's collection of the most interesting photos from around the world features a silhouetted surfer in France, images of joy and grief from England, a massive landslide in California, a life rescued and a life lost at sea, an image from the final performance of "the greatest show on Earth" and, just for kicks, a …

    BIARRITZ, FRANCE - MAY 24:  Guillermo Satt of Chile in action whilst competing in the Men's Qualifying Round 2 during day five of the ISA World Surfing Games 2017 at Grande Plage  on May 24, 2017 in Biarritz, France.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)