MANATEE -- One of two men charged in connection with the fatal shooting of a Bradenton man during a drug deal gone bad admitted to pulling the trigger while the other suspect held him down, a homicide detective testified Friday.
As a result, a judge ordered Daniel Lee Mann II held without bond while co-defendant James Michael Hardy was ordered held on $1 million bond.
Mann and Hardy, both 22, are charged with second-degree murder in connection with the fatal shooting Jan. 23 of Charles Lehnert, 31. They are being held at Manatee County jail.
The suspects were apprehended Monday after detectives with the Manatee County Homicide Investigative Unit received information the men were involved in the shooting and hiding out in a Tallahassee motel. The Tallahassee Police Department arrested Mann and Hardy at the motel.
The men were held in Leon
County jail until transferred Thursday to the Manatee County jail to face the murder charges.
During a first appearance before County Judge Charles Sniffen, Assistant State Attorney Garrett Franzen said Mann was a felony offender of special concern. Manatee County Sheriff's Office homicide detective Daniel Dickerman provided additional details not in the warrant affidavit, but captured on a video confession by Mann.
"Mr. Mann confessed to actually getting into a fight with the victim and to pulling the trigger while the victim was on the ground during a fight between the victim and Mr. Hardy," Dickerman said. "We don't just have a confession to us but to a third-party as well."
Based on Dickerman's testimony, Sniffen found proof of guilt was evident and presumption of evidence was great and ordered Mann held without bond.
Mann is also charged with two counts of violation of probation. Another judge who signed the warrant had already had ordered him held without bond for those charges, so Sniffen said he likely wasn't going anywhere. Sniffen was presented with Hardy's criminal history, which included a juvenile record for petty theft.
"The murder was captured on video," Dickerman said. "He was identified by the co-defendant, Mr. Mann, as being one of the men who chased the man down and held him down."
Based on statements, the murder was the result of a drug deal gone bad and not premeditated, Dickerman said.
Sniffen said he was not prepared to find proof of guilt was evident and presumption of evidence was great against Hardy, but in asking for a high bond Franzen said Hardy is a flight risk.
Caught in Tallahassee
The suspects were found in Tallahassee outside a motel where they had asked a friend to drive them, Dickerman said.
"The sworn statement that we received from the witness was that they were headed to California, and Tallahassee was the first stop," Dickerman said.
Dickerman said Hardy has family in Tallahassee.
Hardy told the judge he would have to stay with friends or an uncle, since he had only moved back to the area two months ago after working for Disney World.
Sniffen set Hardy's bond at $1 million, finding the State Attorney's Office request reasonable.
Mann's violation of probation charges stem from convictions last year in two separate cases for possession of cocaine and marijuana and resisting arrest, according to court records. In May, he pleaded no contest to all charges and was sentenced to 60 days in jail followed by two years probation.
In December, Mann was arrested for violation of probation when his probation officer said his urine tested positive for cocaine and marijuana, according to the affidavit for the warrant. Mann is scheduled to appear in court Feb. 29 for the violation.
In 2012, Mann was ordered to join the drug court intervention program after he was arrested on two counts of possession of a controlled substance and marijuana. Five times between March and July 2015, he was ordered to serve jail time as sanctions for failing to following his program. In December he pleaded no contest to one count possession of a controlled substance and possession of marijuana and was sentenced to 30 days jail time, with credit for his sanction time.
Hardy's criminal history includes convictions for two counts of burglary of an unoccupied conveyance and grand theft. He was convicted three times for violating probation for those charges and given jail time.
While serving his jail sentence, Hardy was granted a 10-hour-long furlough Jan. 10, 2014, to attend his mother's funeral.
Jessica De Leon, Herald law enforcement reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7049. You can follow her on Twitter @JDeLeon1012.