Willie Byrd Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison

By: Eyewitness News; Jerry Askin Email
By: Eyewitness News; Jerry Askin Email

October 4, 2011 at 6:15pm by Jerry Askin

Melvina Johnson still holds back her tears after her 23-year old son Freddie Fluker was gunned down and killed last February.

"I think about him constantly, I'm always out to the grave, but I'm trying to move on with my life," says Melvina Johnson, mother of Freddie Fluker.

Tuesday, a judge sentenced Willie Byrd to 20 years in prison and 5 years of probation.

Freddie Fluker was shot and killed in a car on Mitchell Street in Havana. Norman Davis was wounded. Deputies arrested Willie Byrd in connection with the crime.

"He was just full of life, he was a family man and it's hard. We're a closed niche family - and it's hard when we get together and he's not there," says Pamela McCoy, aunt of Freddie Fluker.

Byrd had pled guilty to second degree murder in August 2011. Ricky Warren and Gabriel Strong were found guilty of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison back in August.

"With Willie Byrd, at least he'll have the opportunity to get out of prison, hopefully he'll be able to change his life around and do good and live productively in society," says Pamela McCoy.

"But fortunately enough his family can visit him in prison and talk to him. My sister has to visit her son in the graveyard. Every time she talks to him there's no response no silence," says Kathy Dickey, aunt of Freddie Fluker.

Fluker attended TCC and drove trucks all over the country.

"I miss him very much, but we can kind of move on a little bit, we won't ever forget him, but we can learn to deal with it," says Betty Reed, Fluker's grandmother.

The judge ordered Willie Byrd not to have any contact with the victim's family or his co-defendants.

The judge ordered Byrd also not to have any contact with Norman Davis or his family.
October 4, 2011 - 3pm -

Willie Byrd was sentenced to 20 years in prison and 5 years probation


The sentencing for Willie Byrd will be held today at 1:30 PM at the Gadsden County Courthouse.

Byrd is connected with the February 2010 murder of 23-year-old Freddie Fluker.

Fluker was shot and killed in a car on Mitchell Street in Havana, Florida. Two other men have already been sentenced to life in prison for the murder.

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  • by You need to Know Location: Tallahassee on Oct 6, 2011 at 04:05 PM
    no one derserves to be shot down in cold blood for no reason at all. a senseless murder! these 3 guys knew exactly what was going down that night, if you take a gun to rob someone, it is obvious of the great possibility that someone will die and majority of the time, it is the innocent person, like Fluker. now there goes 3 more black guys in the system filling up the prison, what a disgrace to the black race!
  • by True Life on Oct 6, 2011 at 03:53 PM
    cooperation with the state does not excuse a person from a murder, 20 years was linient sentence, personally all 3 dudes should have gotten a life sentence. not one of them tried to call the paramedics, perhaps freddie life could have been saved, not one of them tried to call the police, not even annoymously, but ran and didn't care they all left fluker to die and didn't know if davis could have been dead too. they didn't care and didn't try to stop each other and still robbed those guys, even robbed a dead guy, they all need life! fluker family, i am so sorry for your loss and praying for the family.
  • by Harmony Location: Tallahassee on Oct 6, 2011 at 08:23 AM
    Everyone just need to mind thier own business and make sure they dnt make such bad choices as these fellow guys have done! Im certain its more to the story than media and partakers allowing the street to know so however we are accountable for every choice we choose to make daily some are wise and some are failures just in this case the choice became a failure for the outcome who ever thought they were going to end up wit death and life sentences and for Byrd behalf 20 years for giving honesty the end results was he was present and took part in the action which led him to have just as much time just not a life sentence; which is mercy on him but he didnt have to have that could have kept his freedom if he would make a better choice.I dnt wish any of them the worst but they took someone life and expect for heaven to be please with their behavior Smh at simple ppl
  • by Natty Bumppo Location: Tally on Oct 5, 2011 at 06:01 AM
    This was a drug deal that turned into a rip off. Byrd was smart to flip fast, and he didn't pull the trigger. The guys that did got life. All is well in gadsden County.
    • reply
      by Friend from Atlanta on Oct 6, 2011 at 03:46 PM in reply to Natty Bumppo
      Midway, first of all, you don't have a clue of what happened that night, unless you were there and if you was, then you need to be sentenced to prison in connection with the murder as well. my question to you is would you feel the same way if it was your family member that got shot and kill and the person was dying with their last breath, got bashed in the head, brain shook up and bleeding, skull cracked and a big hold left in his head. all 4 families are suffering because of this tragedy, but like the lady said on the news, the family of the 3 guys can still talk to their love one, take them food, laugh and even Byrd will still be young when he gets out of prison to get married, have children, and a lot of fun, but the family members of Freddie have to visit him in the grave and he never responds, because he cant, because they killed him! i knew Fluker, he was not a thug, but a strong black man who had a lot going for himself and he came from a great family. RIP Freddie, your forever friend in the ATL!!! May God bless all the families and May God have mercy on the killers.
      • reply
        by Midway on Oct 7, 2011 at 05:54 AM in reply to Friend from Atlanta
        I don't doubt what you say. If you say Fluker was a good man, them I agree. If you say he didn't deserve to die, i also agree, but he was there selling drugs and he had a gun and so did Davis. Why would you think bad of Willie who pulled the young woman and her baby out of the back seat of the car. Oh, the media didn't tell that did they....There was a young lady and her baby in the backseat of the car with Davis and Fluker and when Strong opened fire, the young girl and the baby was screaming and Willie got in the line of that fire and helped them out of the car. Warren is an experienced felon with a gun, Strong and Byrd got hooked up with Warren(whose cousin set up the robbery which is the girl that was in the car). Willie didn't have a gun, didn't shoot a gun and he got a sentence as if he had fired shots.If Willie had the proper representation, he would have gotten a better sentence.
  • by Midway on Oct 5, 2011 at 05:41 AM
    I feel bad for all these kids because they could have been the next preacher, the next lawyer or the next judge but they made some bad choices. Willie did a good thing and he will not have to do day for day. I know his family and they are good people and his mom is a wonderful person with a big heart. Willie didn't have a firearm that night and he didn't pull a trigger that night but he got sentenced for associating himself with a guy(s) with a gun. Think about it people, this young man got 20 years and he didn't take a life. The media placed an emphasis on what the deceased family thought about Willie and how they hope he comes out to be a better person but they forgot all about the reason Fluker was in Havana that night. I am sure he wasn’t being a family man then. Willie made one mistake and that mistake was choosing the wrong set of friends but I am sure those of you who are against him have done worst, the difference…”you didn’t get caught”
    • reply
      by peace on Oct 5, 2011 at 06:36 AM in reply to Midway
      Listen Midway we are warn everyday of our life to make good or bad choices, but the 3 decided to kill Fluker and shot his friend twice. Before they left Ricky's house that night walking down the street to kill they had long enough time to think but they didn't so that's why they got what they got. Willie should be counting his Blessings that he didn't get life in prison like his 2 friends.
      • reply
        by Midway on Oct 5, 2011 at 11:47 AM in reply to peace
        Hey peace, you sound like you were there that night, should you have been in the iterrogation room as a suspect as well. You seem to know a lot about that night. As I said before, Willie didn't shoot anyone and he did not deserve the sentence he got. On the other hand, Fluker did not deserve to die. The trigger man got life and the one who pushed the trigger man got life and they should have allowed Willie a more lenient sentence because of his cooperation which meant he learned from his mistake.
    • reply
      by antynia on Oct 5, 2011 at 02:41 PM in reply to Midway
      i no right
  • by thz ga. people Location: havana on Oct 4, 2011 at 11:22 PM
    like really...yall thz boyz took sum 1 life...man i wnt 2 skoo, with all thz boyz n juz to see them n thnk abt how thy life is gone over a lil weed..man really ...yall boys need to get yall life to gather n get a real job!!!!!! an
    • reply
      by PrezNixon on Oct 5, 2011 at 05:34 AM in reply to thz ga. people
      • reply
        by CaptainDisbelief on Oct 5, 2011 at 06:26 AM in reply to PrezNixon
        This comment has been deleted.
        • reply
          by I don't know on Oct 5, 2011 at 08:36 AM in reply to CaptainDisbelief
          No CaptainDisbelief allow me to translate! I din go da skool and ain got no edgakasion so you don't know what um talkn bout you know what I mean. Tri da figure out what um saying if you can. South Siiiiide!!!
    • reply
      by Justice on Oct 5, 2011 at 09:43 AM in reply to thz ga. people
      Hey ... "thz ga. people" WHAT! They need to get their lives together, but you need to get your intelligence together...what's with the mispelled words...I mean come on Sis. spell right out here, you already have 2 strikes don't give the third strike for free! If you're intelligent write and speak with intelligence!
  • by peace Location: Tallahassee on Oct 4, 2011 at 07:34 PM
    Willie was a very smart guy to take an open plea and to testify unlike his friends. Ricky and Gabriel took the case to trial thinking they were going to walk and ended up with a life sentence. Willie will be out in about 12years. I hope Willie get out and live a productive life.
    • reply
      by Anonymous on Oct 4, 2011 at 08:01 PM in reply to peace
      wrong idea he wont be out in 12 years learn the law you dummy only reason he got 25 years because he lied and took a plea the only thing with them is they can go back in take a plea in 10 years unlike wille bryd he got to do 20 years day by day .
  • by Chuck Location: Havana on Oct 4, 2011 at 07:16 PM
    I remember watching him when he played running back for Havana H.S. He had talent.....too bad he made such poor choices in life but he needs pay for what he did.
  • by big D Location: sawdust on Oct 4, 2011 at 06:33 PM
    another piece of trash from Gadsden Co. Thug
  • by Hold on a second on Oct 4, 2011 at 05:20 PM
    He cooperated, that is why he got a lenient sentence. Although the article does not indicate, I am assuming I know the Judge who imposed this sentence, and he would not have sentenced this guy to 20 unless he really delivered. For the life of me I cannot understand why our local media consistently ignores the "who" "what" "why's" of journalism.
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