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Trial date not set for teen accused of killing St. Petersburg police Officer David Crawford

LARGO — The prosecution tried to get a trial date set Monday morning for Nicholas Lindsey, the 16-year-old accused of killing St. Petersburg police Officer David Crawford on Feb. 21.

Pinellas-Pasco Chief Assistant State Attorney Bruce Bartlett asked for an October trial date. But Lindsey's attorney, Dyril Flanagan, said the defense wasn't ready to take that step yet.

The attorney said he was still reviewing the hundreds of pages of evidence he received from the prosecution last week, which included what authorities say is a videotaped confession made by Lindsey at the behest of his parents.

"With something of this magnitude," Flanagan said, "I don't think it's appropriate to set a trial date this early."

Circuit Judge Thane B. Covert granted the defense another pretrial hearing for June 15. But he told both sides that he'll ask them to agree on a trial date then.

Lindsey was indicted by a grand jury on a charge of first-degree murder, which means he will be tried as an adult in the officer's death. If convicted, he faces a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that juveniles cannot be put to death.

The St. Petersburg teen stood silently by his attorney's side during the brief court hearing, the first of what will be many routine hearings before trial. Lindsey was dressed in blue jail coveralls, clutching his hands behind his back.

Lindsey's family did not attend Monday's hearing at the Pinellas County Criminal Justice Center.

Crawford was patrolling downtown at night when a report of a prowler led him to try to question Lindsey, police said. The teenager pulled out a gun and shot the officer several times in the upper body, police said, then ran. He was arrested 24 hours later. Police are still searching for the gun.

Lindsey hadn't even been born the last time Pinellas County saw a trial involving the killing of a police officer.

Belleair police Officer Jeffrey Tackett was shot and killed with his own weapon while trying to arrest a burglary suspect in 1993. That suspect, Lorenzo Jenkins, was convicted a year later and sentenced to death. The death sentence was later overturned, and Jenkins is now serving life in prison.

Trial date not set for teen accused of killing St. Petersburg police Officer David Crawford 04/18/11 [Last modified: Monday, April 18, 2011 11:09pm]
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