Crime

Bradenton man found guilty of fatally shooting girlfriend’s estranged husband

A Bradenton man has been found guilty of the fatal shooting of his then-girlfriend’s estranged husband.

The verdict came after the jury deliberated more than three hours Thursday.

Jared Lakes, 29, now faces up to 30 years in prison for the July 2014 fatal shooting of Shawn McCoy, 28.

After the verdict was read, Circuit Judge Deno Economou revoked Lakes’ bond and ordered him into the Manatee County jail to await sentencing.

A sentencing hearing is set for 1 p.m. Aug. 18.

When the verdict was read, the victim’s brother, Terry McCoy Jr., and father, Terry McCoy Sr., began to sob quietly.

The victim’s mother, Donna McCoy, also sat visibly distraught. The three huddled close as Lakes was handcuffed.

Outside the courthouse, Terry McCoy Jr. spoke on behalf of his family.

“Justice was served finally,” McCoy said. “For two years, running into him multiple times while he was out on bond was very hard for my family. We are just happy that he is in handcuffs and going to jail for a very, very long time.”

McCoy began to sob softly as he remembered his brother.

“I miss him and I want to see his kids, but time will tell,” McCoy said. “It was very hard on my family, but again, that horrible human being is behind bars.”

As he was handcuffed, Lakes began to cry quietly and a deputy pushed a box of tissues toward him.

Since Lakes had no prior felony convictions, a standard presentencing investigation was ordered by Economou.

Earlier in the week, the jury heard testimony from McCoy’s widow, law enforcement, the medical examiner and witnesses in McCoy’s slaying.

Defense attorney Peter Lombardo argued the charge should be dismissed based on Florida’s “Stand Your Ground Law” but Economou disagreed. During Lombardo’s motion for acquittal Wednesday, Economou denied the request again and left it up to the jury to decide.

During Thursday morning’s closing arguments, Assistant State Attorneys Justin Phillips and Garrett Franzen urged the jury not to be fooled by the defense argument the shooting was self-defense.

“It’s easy to smear a dead guy because he can’t get up here and talk,” Phillips told the jury. “Shawn McCoy didn’t deserve to get gunned down in the driveway of the home where he used to live.”

Jessica De Leon: 941-745-7049, @JDeLeon1012

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