Attempted first-degree murder charges were added Wednesday against the two teenagers accused of shooting a Pasco sheriff's deputy during the burglary of a convenience store in Lacoochee, authorities said Wednesday.
And the State Attorney's Office plans to charge Robert Anthony Green, 15, and Antonio Lee Murray, 16, as adults, Chief Assistant State Attorney Bruce Bartlett said. They could face life in prison if convicted.
Both teenagers already faced armed burglary charges in connection with the Aug. 7 break-in at Sam's Quick Mart, 39010 State Road 575. They took jewelry, electronics, clothing and the store owner's semiautomatic handgun, Pasco sheriff's deputies said.
While the two were inside, authorities said, Jeffrey Chandler and another deputy arrived at the store after the alarm went off. Their escape route blocked, authorities said, the teens fired at the front window, intending to break through the metal shutters covering the window. Instead, one bullet hit Chandler in the chest.
Chandler was fine, thanks in part to a metal business card holder in his breast pocket that helped stop the bullet.
Both Green, of 38548 Patti Lane in Lacoochee, and Murray, of 37330 Oak St. in Dade City, told authorities they fired the handgun, according to a Pasco sheriff's report. The report did not say who fired the bullet that hit Chandler.
The teens were arrested under the felony murder statute, in which a person can be charged with a murder or attempted murder that occurs in the commission of a felony, Bartlett said. In this case, that would be the burglary of the convenience store.
Both Green and Murray remained in juvenile detention Wednesday.
Times staff writer Jamal Thalji contributed to this report. Nomaan Merchant can be reached at email@example.com or (727) 869-6244.