Court Cases I WCTV Eyewitness News: Tallahassee, Thomasville, Valdosta

Guilty Verdict in Deadly McDonald's Shooting

By Julie Montanaro
February 22, 2013

The Richardson brothers were found guilty as charged in the murder of James Bryant.

The jury deliberated for two hours before reaching its verdict.

The judge sentenced the Richardson brothers to life in prison for the murder and 25 years for shooting Bryant's friend in the foot. His friend survived.


By Julie Montanaro
February 22, 2013

The jury started deliberating at 5:00 this afternoon.
We'll keep you posted on a verdict.


By Julie Montanaro
Feburary 21, 2013

Rodrizgus Richardson is the accused triggerman. His brother Antonio Richardson is the accused getaway driver.

Prosecutors contend they murdered James Bryant in a McDonald's parking lot back in January 2010.

"I was close enough to see the fire coming out of the gun," defense witness Shakira Williams said.

"Were you able to identify the person? Did you know him?" asked defense attorney Paul Srygley.

"Yes."

"Who was that?"

"It was Ken Governor," she said.

Governor was charged with hiding the murder weapon but was never charged in the murder itself.

Antonio Richardson's girlfriend testified Governor came banging on her door that night and then asked for bleach to wash his hands.

"I was like what ya'll got going on? Why you came to my house? Asking them why did you come here even though you just shot somebody?" Ashley Hale said.

Prosecutors contend Hale has changed key portions of her story to try to keep her boyfriend and his brother out of prison.

The defense rested its case this afternoon.

Both sides will make their final arguments to the jury tomorrow.

We'll keep you posted on a verdict.


By Julie Montanaro
February 21, 2013

Neither Rodrizgus nor Antonio Richardson testified.


By Julie Montanaro
February 21, 2013

Rodrizgus Richardson told the judge he does not intend to take the stand to testify, but his brother Antonio Richardson says he is considering it.

He'll make a decision after the rest of the defense
witnesses testify.

Antonio's girlfriend is on the stand now.


By: Julie Montanaro
February 21, 2013

The lead investigator says there is no forensic evidence linking the Richardson brothers to the murder weapon in the shooting death of James Bryant.

Tallahassee Police investigator Phil Hinds says the 9mm and a 45 were both found in the toilet tank of a home on Americana Street. A third man was arrested and accused of hiding the guns but he was not charged in the murder.

The defense continues to present its case. Closing arguments could come later today.


UPDATED
By Julie Montanaro
February 18, 2013

Two brothers are now standing trial for a deadly shooting in Tallahassee.

Folks on both sides of the courtroom hope the third time is the charm.

Antonio and Rodrizgus Richardson are on trial for the 2010 murder of James Bryant.

Bryant was shot and killed in a McDonald's drive thru.

The Richardson brothers first trial ended in a mistrial. A second trial had to be delayed when a key witness was hospitalized with chest pains.

Today prosecutors and defense attorneys are trying again. Testimony is expected to continue through the rest of the week.

We'll keep you posted on a verdict.


By Julie Montanaro
February 5, 2013

The Richardson brothers' trial has been postponed until February18th.


By: Julie Montanaro
February 5, 2013

Tallahassee, FL - A murder trial that ended in a mistrial in December is on hold once again, after a key witness winds up in the hospital with chest pains.

Antonio and Rodrizgus Richardson are accused in the 2010 murder of 22 year old James Bryant. Bryant was shot and killed in the drive thru of the McDonalds at the corner of South Monroe and Orange Avenue. His friend, Daryl Sutton , was shot in the ankle that night too. He survived.

Sutton was expected to testify today, but complained of chest pains and is now at the hospital undergoing tests.

It is not clear yet whether the trial will resume or if it will have to be completely rescheduled.


UPDATED 12/6/2012 by Julie Montanaro

A judge has declared a mistrial in the case of two brothers accused of murder.

Rodrizgus and Antonio Richardson were on trial for the murder of James Bryant. He was shot and killed in a McDonald's parking lot in January 2010.

The judge declared a mistrial late this afternoon.

Prosecutors say jurors overheard an attorney and others talking about the case.

Also a woman was accused of intimidating a witness and threatening to beat her up if she testified.

A new trial date has not been set.


December 4, 2012 by Julie Montanaro

Two brothers are now on trial for murder. They're accused of opening fire in a McDonald's parking lot.

The shots killed 22 year old James Bryant and today, our camera was the only one rolling when his friend took the stand and described looking down the barrell of a gun.

I never seen nothing like that before," Daryl Sutton said shaking his head.

Sutton took the stand and described finding his friend, James Bryant, shot in the McDonald's drive thru.

"I took off the black t-shirt I had on and put it on his stomach," he said. "Then I zoned out."

It happened January 16, 2010 after a fight that started at the Edge nightclub resumed in the McDonald's parking lot on South Monroe Street.

Prosecutors claim Rodrizgus Richardson pulled the trigger. They claim his brother Antonio not only served as the getaway driver, but pulled up alongside Sutton so someone in the car could shoot him too.

"All I seen was a barrell coming out of the window and like two or three shots probably fired off and that's when I got hit." Sutton was shot in the leg that night.

Yet Sutton cannot identify the man who shot him or Bryant.

A clerk at the Circle K across the street says she saw the shooter with a gun in his hand, but she couldn't identify him either. Just what he was wearing.

"All I seen was red pants," clerk Ticia Perry said.

Defense attorneys say there are no eyewitnesses and no physical evidence linking the Richardson brothers to the crime.

As for the fight that started the deadly chain of events, Sutton says he doesn't even know what it was about.

"I don't really know," Sutton testified.

Testimony in the trial is expected to last the rest of this week. We'll keep you posted on a verdict,


Tallahassee, FL - December 4, 2012 - 11:12 am - by Julie Montanaro

The clerk at Circle K testified there were 75 to 80 people in the parking lot when the shots were fired.

Ticia Perry says she saw a man in red pants shooting a gun. She says he ran toward a car parked right in front of the store and slipped and fell before getting in the passenger side.

Perry says she did not recognize the shooter that night and still cannot identify him.


Tallahassee, FL - December 4, 2012 - 10:15 am - by Julie Montanaro

Brothers Antonio and Rodrizgus Richardson are now on trial for murder.

They are accused of killing 22 year old James Bryant in a McDonald's parking lot in January 2010.

Prosecutor Jon Fuchs says police officers broke up a fight at the Edge Nightclub earlier that night but it resumed in the McDonald's parking lot at about 3:30 am.

Prosecutors say Rodrizgus Richardson was wearing bright red pants that night and an employee at the Mcdonalds clearly saw him shooting.

Prosecutors say the men fled in a blue Sebring and someone fired several shots out the window.

Prosecutors say police later recovered two guns from a toilet tank in a home off Americana Street. The 9mm matched bullet casings at the scene and the bullet pulled from Bryant's neck.

Rodrizgus Richardson's defense attorney says no one can identify him as the the shooter and there is no forensic evidence linking him to the crime either.

The defense attorney suggested there are two other men who may have been involved in the shooting and talked about it afterward.


Tallahassee Police Department Release
At approximately 3:30AM on Saturday, January 16, 2010, the Tallahassee Police Department responded to a reported shooting at 2800 South Monroe Street (McDonalds). Upon arrival, officers discovered that 22-year-old James Bryant had been shot, later succumbing to his injury. A second man, 23-year-old Daryl Sutton was shot in the ankle while attempting to render aid to Bryant. Sutton later recovered from his injury.

Investigator Phil Hinds from the Tallahassee Police Department’s Violent Crimes Unit responded to the scene and began evaluating physical evidence, along with witness statements. While at the scene, Investigator Hinds discovered that the suspect, later identified as 19-year-old Rodrizgus Richardson, may have fled in a blue Chrysler, which was driven by his brother, Antonio Richardson. According to information from witnesses, there was an altercation between two groups of men at 3505 South Monroe Street (The Edge Night Club) just prior to the shooting death of James Bryant.

Officer Brian Johnson located the blue Chrysler Sebring shortly after the shooting at 408 Americana Street. While conducting a search of the home, officers located two handguns concealed in a tank connected to a toilet. The guns (9mm and .45 caliber) were seized as evidence. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement later examined the guns, casings, and a projectile positively linking them to the murder of James Bryant.

Based on statements from witnesses, surveillance video from The Edge and the Circle K (2807 South Monroe Street) Investigator Hinds developed enough evidence linking Rodrizgus Richardson to the shooting death of James Bryant. Richardson was arrested without incident on Sunday, February 28th. Both 20-year-old Kenneth L. Governor and 18-year-old Antonio Richardson were arrested on charges related to the shooting.

"In today's society we expect it to be solved in an hour like it is on television, but I can't tell you how much dedication and hard work went in behind the scenes with the tons of man hours. Fortunately we were able to bring this case to a resolution with an arrest and get murder suspects off the streets," says Officer David McCranie of the Tallahassee Police Department.

ARRESTED:

Rodrizgus Richardson, B/M, 3-2-1990. Charges: First Degree Murder

Kenneth L. Governor, B/M, 3-29-1990. Charges: Accessory After the Fact, and Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon

Antonio Richardson, B/M, 11-24-1991. Charges: Principal to First Degree Murder


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