Wednesday, May 23, 2018
News Roundup

Trial delayed for man accused of 2008 double murder in Lealman

LARGO — The murder trial of a man accused of killing the son of a St. Petersburg community activist has been postponed.

Jerry T. Jones, 23, had been expected to go to trial Tuesday, but a judge granted his defense team's request for an extension during a Monday hearing. He is being represented by a public defender.

Authorities said Jones shot and killed Cabretti Wheeler, 21 and Kyle Ellis, 24, in September 2008 shooting at a Lealman auto repair shop.

The murder prompted Wheeler's mother to become a community activist and a vocal critic of what law enforcement calls the "no-snitching" culture after the case went cold.

Assistant State Attorney Mark McGarry said the unexpected delay centers on a female defense witness that attorneys said could be important to their case. The woman, who lives in Michigan, is unable to travel right now. McGarry said she has never been subpoenaed or deposed in the case before.

The victims' families said they were dismayed by the delay.

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