Teen Sentenced in Tallahassee Double Murder

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By: Julie Montanaro
February 18, 2016

A Tallahassee teen is sentenced for the robbery and murder of two brothers.

Curtis Hall knew the men and lived in the apartment building next door.

That makes it all especially painful for the family of Travis and Rudy Hornsby.

"Would I have wanted more? Yes. Does it give me closure? Yes," Phelicia Stiell said as she wiped away tears after the hearing.

Stiell sat in the front row as a judge sentenced Curtis Hall to 55 years in prison for robbing and killing her two older brothers, 63 year old Travis Hornsby and 65 year old Rudy Hornsby.

The men were found shot to death in their Shelfer Road apartment back in October 2012.

"He made a choice to take two innocent people's lives," Stiell said.

The Hornsby's sister is angry. She says the men had befriended and mentored Hall and had even given his family money when they needed help.

"I'd say he was killed by his kindness," she said.

"These men were executed in their own home," prosecutor Georgia Cappleman argued.

Prosecutors pushed for a life sentence, but defense attorneys say Hall was 17 years old then and contend he did not act alone.

They pointed to a verdict form which shows the state didn't prove Hall was the gunman. They asked for just 15 years citing that - plus a low IQ and a rough childhood.

"I don't care how old you are or mature you are, you know that's wrong," Circuit Judge Terry Lewis said before he sentenced Hall to 55 years in prison and the rest of his life on probation.

"We'll never, ever forget what happened. Never. It plays in my mind like a slow reel, slow motion," Stiell said, "but now we can really allow our brother's memories to be put in place and we can move on."

Update: Julie Montanaro
May 22 - 6:25pm

Curtis Hall has been found guilty of second degree murder and armed robbery in the deaths of Travis and Rudy Hornsby. The jury deliberated for five hours before reaching that decision.

May 22 1:20pm
By Julie Montanaro

The jury is now deliberating in the murder trial of Curtis Hall.
We'll keep you posted on a verdict.

May 20, 2015
By Julie Montanaro

A Tallahassee teen is now on trial for murder. He's accused of killing two of his neighbors.

Curtis Hall is accused of gunning down brothers Travis and Rudy Hornsby in a robbery.

The two were shot and killed in their Shelfer Road apartment on Halloween night 2012.

A neighbor saw the door cracked open and found one of the men dead on the living room floor. She called another neighbor for help. What she didn't realize, was the man's brother was dead in a bedroom nearby.

"I remained at the doorway and I said Mr. Hornsby are you okay? I said Mr. Hornsby, get up, stop playing and I thought you know he was just laying on the floor. So I said Mr. Hornsby stop playing, get up and he didn't move or he didn't say anything," the woman testified.

The medical examiner testified that Rudy Hornsby was shot four times and Travis Hornsby was shot once in the back of the head.

Prosecutors say Hall admitted to killing the men, but defense attorneys say that confession was coerced after more than eight hours of questioning. They stress there's no physical evidence linking Hall to the crime.

By Julie Montanaro
May 20, 2015

The medical examiner is testifying now.

Dr. Anthony Clark says Frank "Travis" Hornsby was shot in the back of the head and the gun was likely pressed to his scalp when it was fired.

Dr. Clark says Rudolph "Rudy" Hornsby was shot four times including once through the heart. Clark testified there was also a wound on his hand that's indicative of him trying to defend himself.

May 20, 2015
By Julie Montanaro

A Tallahassee teen is on trial for a double murder on Halloween night 2012.

Curtis Hall is accused of killing brothers Frank "Travis" Hornsby and Rudy Hornsby in their Briarwood Apartment.

Prosecutors say Hall robbed and shot the men and stole their wallets. Assistant State Attorney Georgia Cappleman says Hall had asked Travis Hornsby for money earlier in the day but he said no.

Prosecutors say Hall admitted to the murders and plan to show the jury a videotape of his statement to police.

Yet defense attorneys contend Hall was coerced into a confession after more than eight hours of questioning by Tallahassee Police officers.

Defense attorney Clyde Taylor says there is no other evidence to link Curtis Hall to the murders... no DNA, no fingerprints, no eyewitnesses and no murder weapon.

UPDATED 1.3.2013 by Julie Montanaro

A Leon County grand jury today indicted Curtis Hall for the murders of Frank and Rudolph Hornsby.

They were shot and killed at their Shelfer Road apartment in November 2012.

Hall was indicted on two counts of first degree murder and two counts of armed robbery.

A trial date has not yet been set.

UPDATED 11.23.2012 by Julie Montanaro

A 17 year old accused of killing two brothers will be tried as an adult.

Curtis Hall was arrested last week and accused of killing brothers Frank and Rudolph Hornsby.

They were found shot to death in their Briarwood Manor apartment back on November first.

Court records show Hall was moved from juvenile custody to the Leon County jail late Wednesday night. A judge ordered him held without bond at his first appearance Thanksgiving morning.

UPDATED 11.16.2012 by Julie Montanaro

A 17 year old is now accused in a Tallahassee double murder.

Curtis Hall is accused of killing brothers, Frank and Rudolph Hornsby, in their apartment at Briarwood Manor back on November 1st.

Police reports say Hall shot the men and then stole their wallets.

Hall lives in the same apartment complex in the building right next door.

Folks are stunned that one of their neighbors has been accused of the murders.

"I don't understand what went down or how it happened but out of all people, I wouldn't expect for him... it would be him," said neighbor Rakeith Robertson. "I ain't have no problems with him. He was a cool person to chill with or what not."

Arrest papers say Hall repeatedly changed his story. One time he told police he wasn't involved, another time he claimed there was a second suspect and still another time he offered to take police to find the gun.

Police will not comment on whether they have recovered the murder weapon or any other physical evidence tying Hall to the crime.

Hall's photo has not been released. He's being held in the Juvenile Assessment Center. The assistant state attorney says he'll be charged as an adult and moved the jail next week.

Tallahassee Police Department Release

Tallahassee, FL - The Tallahassee Police Department responded to a 911 call on November 01, 2012 at 4495 Shelfer Road. Upon arrival, patrol officers located two victims, deceased, in apartment B16. Both Frank Hornsby and Rudolph Hornsby, two brothers who lived in the apartment, appeared to have succumbed to injuries suffered from gunshot wounds.

Investigators from TPD’s Violent Crime Unit and members of the Forensic Unit responded to take over the investigation. After reviewing the evidence and interviewing several witnesses, TPD has arrested Curtis Hall for the murders of the Hornsby brothers.

“It is with great pride TPD is able to bring closure to this case for both the Hornsby family and the community,” said Chief Dennis Jones. “Without the dedication of all of our team members and the State Attorney’s Office this heinous crime would have gone unsolved.”

Please see the attached Probable Cause for further details.

UPDATED 11.8.2012 by Julie Montanaro

It's been one week since two brothers were found dead in their Tallahassee apartment.

Police still have no suspect and no motive.

Neighbors are noticeably nervous.

"I'm scared," Terica Clark said.

Terica Clark says she still can't believe the neighbors she knew as Mr. Travis and Mr. Rudy were murdered in their apartment.
She's afraid to take out her own trash and wonders if the killer is walking around Briarwood Manor.

"I'm terrified. I don't know why someone would want to hurt them or anything like that, but I just hope they just get it solved," Clark said.

Evidence tape still covers the door of apartment B16.

63 year old Frank Hornsby and 65 year old Rudolph Hornsby were found dead inside. Neighbors tell us they were shot to death, but police won't confirm that.

A Tallahassee Police spokesman says they have no suspect and no motive.

"We are continuing to work as hard as we can to try to figure out exactly what happened, but unfortunately we are no closer than we were last week," TPD spokesman David Northway said. "Obviously the faster you can solve something the better, but sometimes, in some cases, there's lab results, things like that that have to be sent off, put into line. They have to be processed and sent back, analyzed, all those things. Sometimes we just have to wait and let science do its job," Northway said.

Police won't say whether there was any sign of forced entry or struggle.

The murders brought some children in the neighborhood to tears. Frank Hornsby was a substitute teacher at Oak Ridge Elementary right across the street.

A school district spokesman says Hornsby worked as a substitute teacher at several schools since 2009.

"It's very important for me to get it solved, you know, for them to get something ... some type of ... something going, anything," neighbor Terica Clark said.

If you have information about the murders of Frank and Rudolph Hornsby, call Crime Stoppers at 850-576-tips.

< hr >

Tallahassee, FL - November 8, 2012 - by Julie Montanaro

It's been one week since brothers Frank and Rudolph Hornsby were found murdered in their Tallahassee apartment.

Tallahassee Police Spokesman David Northway says unfortunately officers are no closer to solving it today than they were then.

Northway says there are no suspects and no clear motive for the crime.

Neighbors at Briarwood Manor apartments tell us they are scared. One was just returning to home to pick up some clothes because she is too afraid to stay in her own apartment. Another says she won't even go to the trash dumpster alone.

Tallahassee Police would not confirm how the men died, but neighbors tell us they were shot.

Anyone with information on the crime can call Crime Stoppers at 850-576-TIPS.

Frank Hornsby was a substitute teacher at Oak Ridge Elementary right across the street.

Tallahassee, FL - November 2, 2012 - More than 24 hours later, Tallahassee Police and neighbors are still searching for answers in a double-homicide.

Frank and Rudolph Hornsby were found dead inside their second-floor Briarwood Manor apartment Thursday morning.

Neighbors say the two men were brothers. Police have not released how the two men died.

Police would not comment on any leads. There are no suspects at this time.

Anyone with any information is asked to call the Tallahassee Police Department.

Tallahassee, FL - November 2, 2012 - Tallahassee Police were still investigating the Briarwood Manor apartments late Thursday night, November 1st, after receiving a 911 call at around 11:20 that morning.

"Once upon scene they located two people inside the apartment deceased. TPD is currently investigating it as a double homicide," said Officer Dave Northway of the Tallahassee Police Department.

The two victims, 65 year old Frank Hornsby and 63 year old Rudolph Hornsby were brothers according to neighbors. TPD had the entrance to the apartments blocked off for most of the afternoon.

Neighbors say the men lived together in the second floor apartment. One woman was shocked something like this could happen where she lived.

"I never knew someone could come up and actually do this, and you can get away with it. There should have been something done," said Barbara, a neighbor who did not want to use her last name.

Multiple people said the men were nice and quiet. One neighbor even said they kept him out of trouble and would do anything for anybody.

TPD didn't release the cause of death for the two men but neighbors say they believe the Hornsbys were shot. Police have no suspects at this time and that makes neighbors like Barbara extra concerned.

"There's families out here and everyone stays out here. The way that went down...it shouldn't have. I don't like it," she said.

Tallahassee, FL - November 2, 2012 - Tallahassee police are now investigating an apparent double homicide.

The crime took place at Briarwood Manor Apartments as TPD investigates what they say is a double homicde.

They have released the victims names. They are 65 year old Rudolph Hornsby and 63 year old Frank Hornsby.

Details right now are scarce. TPD believes the two men are brothers and don't know if they both lived in the apartment. Police received the 911 call at almost 1130 this morning but did not confirm to me the source of the call. They are not saying what the two men died from at this point.

There is no suspect at this time and anyone with information is encouraged to contact TPD or crime stoppers. We will keep you updated with the latest info as it becomes available.

Tallahassee, FL - November 1, 2012 - Tallahassee Police Department says that 65 year old Frank Hornsby and and 63 year old Rudolph Hornsby were found dead on Shelfer Road. Police are calling it a double homicide.

TPD says they believe the men were brothers and that they cannot confirm if the men lived in the apartment they were found at.

The details of how the men died have not been released. TPD is still at the scene and continues to investigate.

Tallahassee, FL - November 1, 2012 - Tallahassee police got a call around 11:20 am about a person found dead.

It all happened at 4495 Shelfer Road near Crawfordville Road.

Dave Northway with TPD says they are calling it a suspicious death.

They haven't released the person's identity or what exactly happened.

Stay with WCTV for more information

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