MANATEE — A teenager now charged as an adult in the slaying of an 18-year-old man earlier this month showed off the gun he used prior to shooting Dejuan Williams to death, according to Manatee County Sheriff’s Office reports released Thursday.
Prosecutors charged former Southeast High School student Byron Galloway, 16, with second-degree murder and aggravated assault in Williams’ death Aug. 4.
Parents of both Williams and Galloway declined to comment Thursday.
Galloway is accused of shooting Williams in the backyard of Williams’ home in the 4400 block of York Drive. Sheriff’s reports say Williams came home to check on his 14-year-old sister and found Galloway in his backyard.
The sister told authorities Galloway had been in her home against her parents’ rules and climbed out a bedroom window when her brother arrived. Sheriff’s reports say Williams was holding a baseball bat as he approached Galloway, who was hiding behind a shed.
Galloway at first apologized to Williams, before pulling out a pistol and shooting him, sheriff’s reports said. Witnesses said Williams did not threaten Galloway with the bat, according to sheriff’s reports.
Witnesses told detectives Galloway “continued to say he was sorry, and all of the sudden changed his demeanor and stated, ‘You know what,’ and pulled a gun out of his pocket and shot Dejuan in the chest,” sheriff’s reports said.
Sheriff’s reports released Thursday also say Galloway showed the pistol off while in the home to Williams’ sister and her teenage friend. The friend told detectives Galloway threatened to jump Williams if he came home, reports said.
After the shooting, sheriff’s reports say Galloway called a friend to pick him up at Williams’ home. The driver of the car, also a juvenile, took off from the home and later wiped down and dumped the gun in a field at Galloway’s request, according to sheriff’s reports.
The same teen later took deputies to the gun, which was recovered. He will not be charged, according to sheriff’s spokesman Dave Bristow.
Bristow also said detectives have hit a dead end in finding out where Galloway got the gun because he has refused to cooperate.
After being charged as an adult, Galloway has been moved from a juvenile detention facility to the Manatee County jail, where he will be held in a juvenile wing of the facility. He is being held without bond.
Assistant State Attorney Ed Brodsky declined comment on the charges, but according to Florida law first-degree murder charges can only be brought if there is pre-meditation or if a homicide occurred during the commission of another crime.
Someone convicted of second-degree murder can be sentenced to up to life in prison.