Jesse Ray Allen Jr. was 16 when he was arrested and charged with helping two friends beat, choke and stomp a 76-year-old Trilby man to death.
He likely will be at least 37 years old when he gets out of prison.
Allen, now 20, was arrested more than four years ago, days after the Aug. 9, 1999, abduction and murder of Daniel Max Boyko. He pleaded no contest Tuesday to second-degree murder and carjacking in exchange for a 25-year prison sentence.
In a no contest plea, a defendant declines to fight the state's charges. Circuit Judge Lynn Tepper ruled Allen guilty. With credit for the time he spent in jail and some allowable reductions, he could serve as little as 17 years, appointed defense attorney Sam Williams said.
Allen and teenage cohorts Damani Emmanuel and Lionell Kendall Mitchell picked Boyko at random to rob. Allen and Emmanuel snatched him from outside his home, stuffed him into the back seat of his car and rode with Mitchell into the Withlacoochee forest, where they demanded money.
The three beat and chocked Boyko to death, stealing about $100 and Boyko's 1995 Dodge Neon.
Witnesses said the teens cruised around Lacoochee in Boyko's car, shuttling friends out to see his body, before torching the car.
Allen was in court Tuesday, wearing a jail-issued blue jumpsuit. His hands were cuffed and locked to a chain around his waist. He gave one- or two-word replies to Tepper's questions, and he declined an opportunity to add any comments before sentencing.
Boyko's family was not present, but prosecutor Stacey Sumner said family members agreed to the deal.
Mitchell, now 20, was tried in September 2001 and found guilty of manslaughter and assault. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
Emmanuel, now 22, pleaded guilty in 2002 to second-degree murder and implicated Allen. Emmanuel was promised no more than 22 years in prison, but because the deal included Emmanuel's testimony against Allen, his sentencing has been on hold.