MANATEE -- A judge will allow selected photos of the Sarasota teen killed in a shooting outside a Bradenton movie theater last year to be used during the trial of the second man charged in her death.
On July 28, Rawls was shot in the head during an exchange of gunfire in the parking lot outside the Carmike Royal Palm 20 theater, 5126 26th St. E., Bradenton, near U.S. 301 at State Road 70. She died 10 minutes later as she was being rushed to the hospital by her sister and friends.
Jasper Dudley, 19, of Bradenton, faces charges of being a principal to second-degree murder and possession of a firearm by someone under age 24 previously found delinquent. He was arrested hours later the same day of Rawls' death.
Dudley is set to stand trial
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during the two-week trial period that begins April 27.
On Friday morning, Dudley appeared in court before Circuit Judge Diana Moreland as his defense attorney, Joe Campoli, argued that the photos would only serve to inflame the passions of the jury and that they had no legal relevance in the trial.
Assistant State Attorney Brian Iten disagreed, stating that the photos, which will be introduced during the medical examiner's testimony, will aid the expert witness in describing how Rawls died.
Moreland denied the motion, allowing the use of the crime-scene photos depicting Rawls.
"Court is familiar with the evidence in this case in that there is some evidence of that tracking of the bullet, not only that bullet but (also) a second bullet that entered the vehicle which shows some trajectory that the state is going to be allowed to argue," Moreland said.
With no other issues needing to be addressed in the case, Campoli requested that appearance at the case-management hearing on April 1 be waived. With no objections from Iten, Moreland granted the request.
Dudley is next scheduled to appear in court at 10 a.m. April 15 for a docket sounding to schedule specific days and times for the trial
The other defendant in the case, Frank Brice, 20, of Bradenton, was found not guilty of principal to second-degree murder on March 6 after a week-long trial. Brice remains custody on the Manatee County jail as he awaits trial a charge of possession of a firearm by someone under 24 years of age previously found delinquent and an unrelated lewd and lascivious battery charge.
Jessica De Leon, Herald law enforcement reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. You can follow her on Twitter @JDeLeon1012.