A Jamaican immigrant was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison Thursday in connection with the April 2007 slaying of a Seffner man, according to the Hillsborough County State Attorney's Office.
Maurice Walton of Seffner was gunned down at 2:30 a.m. April 1, 2007, while he was returning to his car after he attended a party with two friends, said Laura McElroy, a Tampa police spokeswoman.
An anonymous tipster told detectives that a man named Oral K. Drummond and two other men were involved in Walton's death, McElroy said. Detectives began building a case and obtained a warrant for Drummond's arrest.
"It was a very time-consuming and complicated case for the detectives," McElroy said.
Five months after the slaying, Drummond, 25, of 13318 Key Largo Road in Tampa, was arrested by the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office after they found drugs on him during a traffic stop, officials said.
Debbie Carter, the sheriff's spokeswoman, said Drummond had just sold crack cocaine to an undercover deputy before he was pulled over and agreed to a search of his car. When deputies put his name into the computer, it showed the murder warrant from Tampa police.
Drummond, went to trial Monday, said Darrell Dirks, a prosecutor with the Hillsborough State Attorney.
Dirks said five minutes after Drummond was found guilty on Thursday morning, the judge sentenced him to life in prison.
"He also got 10 years concurrent sentence for conspiracy to commit murder," he said.
Two other men, Earnest Charles Morgan and Kenton Johnson, are also charged with murder in the case, and are scheduled for trial in January.
Dirks said he believes Drummond's immigration status will not interfere with his sentence, but he is unsure because Drummond still has an Immigrations and Customs Enforcement hold against him.