Opening statements in Florida tourists murder trial
Teenage gunman Shawn Tyson has been found guilty in Florida of the murders of former Sheffield students James Kouzaris and James Cooper
The jury in the trial of Shawn Tyson, accused of murdering ex- Sheffield University students James Kouzaris and James Cooper to be sworn in
Friends of two former Sheffield University students who were shot dead in Florida are taking part in a two-thousand mile relay of football stadiums in their memory.
It is part of a charity campaign to help stop violent crime. This weekend they reached our region.
Joe Hallett, a friend of Mr Kouzaris and Mr Cooper read a statement to the
court. Addressing Tyson personally he said:
– Joe Hallett, friend of James Kouzaris
"It was through your deadly action that you have taken us all on a journey to hell during the last 12 months.
Mr Hallett described the victims as
decent human beings [who] would judge a person by what is on the inside."
"They were two of the good guys in life. You pierced their hearts with bullets and you robbed my friends of their dignity, their freedom and their future.
James Kouzaris, 24, and James Cooper, 25, were gunned down after they drunkenly
walked into a public housing estate in the Newtown area of Sarasota in the early
hours of April 16th last year.
It took the jury of eight women and four men about two hours to convict Tyson
of murder in the first degree of both men. The 17-year-old sat emotionless as the verdict was read out to the court.
Shawn Tyson, aged 17, was found guilty of two counts of first degree murder
after a trial at Sarasota County Courthouse.
Shaun Tyson has been found guilty of the murders of the two Sheffield university students
James Kouzaris, 24, and James Cooper, 25.
Shawn Tyson, the teenager accused of murdering two former Sheffield University students in America is not giving evidence in his own trial.
It was claimed today that he shot James Kouzaris twice in the back and James Cooper was hit four times.
The friends were on holiday in Sarasota at the time. 17 year old Tyson denies the charges and his defence team has told the judge that he won't be taking the stand. The closing arguments in the case will be heard tomorrow.