16-year-old Larry Brown faces adult charges in Tampa security officer's slaying

Published Dec. 14, 2012

TAMPA — Larry Donell Brown was trying to steal a private security officer's gun when he fatally shot him Nov. 21, according to a grand jury indictment filed Thursday.

Previously detained as a juvenile, 16-year-old Brown now faces an adult charge of first-degree murder.

The state upped the charges Thursday and authorities said they planned to transfer Brown from the Juvenile Assessment Center to the Falkenburg Road Jail.

According to the grand jury indictment, Brown tried to rob Michael Valentin of his sidearm, but after shooting the security officer, he fled without the it.

Valentin, 38, died at the East Tampa apartment complex he was guarding. His gun was still in its holster.

The grand jury's decision marks the first time Brown has faced adult charges, even though he has been charged with 36 crimes since his 10th birthday.

Tampa police say he's been convicted of about a dozen felonies.

On Thursday, Brown was indicted on the following charges: first-degree murder, attempted robbery, two counts of robbery for ATM robberies, grand theft firearm and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

The indictment also states that Brown took a gun from his mother, Nicole Bailey. It's unclear if that was used to shoot Valentin.

Brown's lengthy rap sheet gave some area lawyers pause after he was arrested in Valentin's slaying. They were surprised a juvenile had collected so many charges without being charged as an adult or getting significant prison time.

Brown recently completed a 14-month stint in a juvenile detention center, according to his mother.

Times staff writer Stephanie Bolling contributed to this report. Jessica Vander Velde can be reached at or (813) 226-3433.