SARASOTA -- A grand jury Tuesday indicted 16-year-old Shawn Tyson on two counts of first-degree murder in the slayings of British tourists James Cooper, 25, and James Thomas Kouzaris, 24.
Cooper and Kouzaris were found shot to death early April 16 in Newtown, several miles off the usual tourist track.
“The grand jury met at the courthouse in Sarasota and produced a charging document that indicted Mr. Tyson,” State Attorney Earl Moreland said Tuesday. “This wasn’t a trial. He hasn’t been found guilty. But what this means is that there will be a trial.”
Tyson, who was charged as an adult, will be held in the Sarasota County jail until his upcoming trial, Moreland said.
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“We don’t know yet when the trial will be,” Moreland said.
The Sarasota Police Department has researched surveillance footage from several Main Street Sarasota nightspots that Cooper and Kouzaris visited before their deaths to try to determine why they ended up in the Newtown neighborhood.
But no official version has been offered as yet, but answers could come out in the upcoming trial, Moreland said.
“Through the process of discovery and the testimony of witnesses, more is certain to be revealed in this case,” Moreland said.
At the time of Tuesday’s indictment, Tyson was already in jail on five counts of aggravated assault with a handgun.
Police say he shot at a car on April 7.