A man charged with second-degree murder in connection with a 2014 shooting of another man will continue to be held without bond.
Tavaris Johnson, 28, was charged Tuesday in the death of Samuel Edwards, 29. On Wednesday afternoon, Johnson appeared before Circuit Judge Susan Maulucci, who set his bond at $750,000, but because his previous bonds were revoked, he continues to be held without bond.
Both Maulucci and public defender Jessica Casciola advised Johnson not to talk about the facts of the case with anyone at the Manatee County jail.
“Your honor, I don’t want to talk about my case but can I exercise my right to a speedy trial?” Johnson asked.
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Johnson has been in jail since Sept. 1, 2015, on unrelated charges of aggravated assault, aggravated battery and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon after police said he fired a handgun into the air and at his live-in girlfriend.
At about 6:30 a.m. June 23, 2014, deputies responded to the 5800 block of 11th Street East to reports of a burglary in progress. When they arrived, deputies found an alleged victim who claimed he had been shot. Although, paramedics could not find any gunshot wounds, they transported him to a hospital for a drug-related issue.
While he was en route to the hospital, he told paramedics that there was someone else who had been hit in a car.
Deputies checked the area and found Edwards shot dead inside a silver Chevrolet Impala in the 5700 block of 11th Street East.
Edwards had been shot in the neck, left hand and head, according to an arrest report.
During Johnson’s first appearance Wednesday, Assistant State Attorney Rebecca Muller Thompson shared some of Johnson’s criminal history, which includes a juvenile record with two convictions — one for attempted robbery and the other for an assault.
Johnson has also been in jail on a home invasion charge from Aug. 24, 2015. According to police, Johnson and his co-defendant broke into a home in the 2100 block of 13th Street West through a rear window. Police said one stuck his gun in a woman’s mouth and demanded money while the other held another victim down on the bed.