TAMPA — An arrest warrant was issued Thursday for a man that Tampa police say is responsible for the March shooting death of a 14-year-old boy.
Joseph Huggins, 22, faces a second-degree murder charge in the death of Richard Newton, who was shot March 21 after a fight broke out at a birthday party he attended in the Sulphur Springs area of Tampa.
Police said forensic evidence links Huggins to the shooting. Records show he has a history of arrests, mostly for drug-related charges. In 2012, he was sent to state prison after being convicted on charges of selling and possessing cocaine. He was released in 2014.
Days after Newton was killed, Huggins was arrested on an aggravated assault charge, records show. The circumstances of that arrest were not immediately clear. The case is still pending in court, with a pre-trial date set for Oct. 28.
Newton's death happened amid an alarming surge in violent crime early this year in Tampa. He was one of five teenagers killed in homicides.
Anyone with information about Huggins' whereabouts is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1 (800) 873-TIPS (8477).