MANATEE -- Detectives are looking for witnesses after a 40-year-old man with a troubled past involving drugs was found shot to death Thursday in a car outside a Palmetto home.
At 3:29 a.m., deputies responded to the 2300 block of First Avenue East to reports of gunfire and found the body of Lathawn Turner, according to Manatee sheriff's detectives.
"When we got there, the victim had already been found by someone in the neighborhood and he was deceased," sheriff's office spokesman Dave Bristow said.
Turner was pronounced dead at 3:38 a.m. by paramedics when they arrived.
Detectives with the Manatee County Homicide Investigative Unit were on scene for several hours Thursday investigating the slaying, but still have no leads.
The victim was shot at from the road at least 10 times, detectives said. Evidence markers designated the bullet casings and four tire marks in the driveway that led to the red Chevrolet Cruze in which Turner was found.
The Cruze was parked to the right of two duplexes. One of the four units is currently vacant.
Bristow said neighbors were able to provide detectives with a little bit of background on the situation.
The victim didn't live near where he was shot. He was known to drift from place to place, detectives said.
Turner was released from prison on Aug. 1, 2014, after serving more than almost seven years of an eight-year sentence for multiple con
victions for possession of cocaine within 1,000 feet of a church, and possession with intent to sell or deliver cocaine. The Department of Corrections lists his address at the time of his release in the 100 block of 12th Street West in Palmetto, about 11 blocks from where he was killed.
Turner's prior convictions include for charges of possession of drug paraphernalia, possession of a controlled substance, driving without a driver's license, assault and battery. His most recent conviction came less than two months after being released from prison, for charges of grand theft auto and driving without a driver's license. He pleaded no contest and sentenced for credit for time served.
Anyone who knows anything can call sheriff's office homicide Detective Ben Main at 941-747-3011, ext. 2161.
Jessica De Leon, Herald law enforcement reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. You can follow her on Twitter @JDeLeon1012.