ELLENTON — A man was sentenced to 25 years in prison July 9 after pleading no contest to multiple charges stemming from a 2013 crime.
La’Tay McKelly, 22, pleaded no contest to charges of attempted murder in the first degree with a firearm, aggravated battery (with great bodily harm) and carrying a concealed firearm.
On May 8, 2013, McKelly requested a gem appraisal at Cortez Coins, 3812 U.S. 301, Ellenton. According to the Office of State Attorney Ed Brodsky, McKelly then pulled a black handgun from his pocket and struck the victim in the head while the victim was examining the jewelry.
Brodsky reported the defendant then reached over the counter, pointed his gun at the victim and squeezed the trigger at least twice, but the gun did not fire.
The victim grabbed his own gun and shot once at the suspect as he fled on foot toward Franklin Avenue, according to witnesses.
The incident was reportedly captured on video at the business. McKelly was arrested the following day.
Assistant State Attorney Darlene Ragoonanan said in a press release: “To first be struck in the head with the gun, and then only mere seconds later to have the gun pointed in his face while the defendant squeezed the trigger was a truly horrifying experience for the victim.”