[UPDATE] Final Man Sentenced for Ervin Sharp's Murder

UPDATED 9.20.2011 by Julie Montanaro

Defense attorneys confirm Paul Gaines was sentenced this afternoon to ten years in prison followed by five years probation. Gaines had already entered a no contest plea to second degree murder and other charges.

Gaines agreed to cooperate with the state and wound up testifying against co-defendant Christopher Baity twice. Co-defendants Brian Thompson and Qwaeshun Barrington wound up entering pleas instead of going to trial.

UPDATED 9.14.2011 by Julie Montanaro

A man accused in a bizarre murder will spend the rest of his life in prison.

Christopher Baity was found guilty of second degree murder this afternoon in the death of Ervin Sharp.

Sharp was runover and killed during a robbery in his own driveway back in January 2010. Sharp was not shot that day. A shot fired in a struggle prompted Sharp's girlfriend to panic and hit the gas.

Three co-defendants have already entered pleas in the case and one of them testified against Baity.

The jury deliberated for seven hours over two days before reaching its verdict this afternoon.

UPDATED 9.6.2011 by Julie Montanaro

Two men accused in a robbery turned murder are now on their way to prison.

Brian Thompson and Qwaeshun Barrington both entered no contest pleas this morning to second degree murder and attempted robbery in the death of Ervin Sharp.

Prosecutors say a total of four men came to rob Sharp and at some point a gun went off. Sharp was not killed by that gun, but deputies say his panicked girlfriend hit the gas and accidentally ran over him.

All four men were charged with Sharp's murder as a result

Thompson and Barrington were both sentenced to ten years in prison and ten years on probation.

I'm glad they got sentenced and that justice is being served," said Carless Rollins, one of Sharp's fishing buddies. "It should have been more, but ten years is better than nothing."

Sharp was run over and killed in his own driveway off the Wakulla Springs Highway back in January 2010.

UPDATED 6.29.2011 3:30pm by Julie Montanaro

A jury has reached a verdict in the robbery and murder trial of 36 year old Christopher Baity.

Baity is one of four men accused in the driveway death of Ervin Sharp back in January 2010.

The jury deliberated for about four hours before reaching its verdicts.

Prosecutors say jurors could not come to a decision on the murder charge. The jury was hung on that count, but it found Baity guilty on the rest of the charges: armed robbery, attempted armed robbery and armed burglary.

Baity is set to be sentenced on those charges July 19th. Prosecutors say he faces a mandatory life sentence on those charges because he is a prison releasee reoffender.

Prosecutor Jack Campbell says he has not yet decided whether to refile murder charges against Baity. Campbell says he is not sure yet how today's hung jury could influence the upcoming trials of co-defendants Brian Thompson and Qwaeshun Barrington.

The fourth co-defendant, Paul Gaines, has already entered a plea in the case and agreed to testify against the others.
UPDATED 6.29.2011 11:55am by Julie Montanaro

The jury is now deliberating in the robbery and murder trial of Christopher Baity.

It started deliberating at 10:50 this morning.

We will keep you posted on a verdict.

UPDATED 6.29.2011 by Julie Montanaro

Attorneys are making their closing arguments this morning in the robbery and murder trial of Christopher Baity.

The jury could begin deliberating by midday.

We'll keep you posted on a verdict.
UPDATED 6.28.2011 by Julie Montanaro

One of four men accused in the death of Ervin Sharp is now on trial.

36 year old Christopher Baity is accused of robbery and second degree murder in connection with Sharp's death back in January 2010.

Both the prosecution and defense rested their cases today. Closing arguments are scheduled to begin in the morning and the jury could begin deliberating by midday.

Press Release from Leon County Sheriff's Office

Update: Four Suspects Arrested for the Murder of Ervin Sharp

On Tuesday January 12, 2010, at approximately 11:00p.m., Leon County Sheriff’s Deputies were called to 8859 Wakulla Springs Highway in reference to a physical disturbance with the report of gunshots fired. When deputies arrived Ervin Sharp, DOB: 07/20/55, was found lying on a dirt driveway near his residence. It appeared that Sharp had been struck by a vehicle and was critically injured. Deputies and Emergency Medical Services attempted life-saving measures, however; Sharp died on scene. Preliminary autopsy results indicated that Sharp died as result of blunt trauma caused by being run over by a vehicle.

Violent Crimes, Crime Scene and Traffic Homicide Investigators conducted an intensive criminal investigation into the circumstances which led to the death of Sharp. During the investigation it was discovered that Christopher Baity, Paul Gaines, Brian Thompson and Qwaeshun Barrington went to the victim’s residence for the purpose of robbing him of drugs and money.

As the suspects arrived at the residence they were met by Sharp who was sitting in the front passenger seat of a vehicle, which was also occupied by his girlfriend, Mary Bollivar. Bollivar was sitting next to Sharp in the driver’s seat. Baity and Thompson, along with Sharp exited their respective vehicles and met at the rear of the vehicle which was still occupied by Bollivar. Once at the rear of the vehicle the suspects, armed with a handgun, attempted to rob Sharp. During the robbery a shot was fired by the suspects, which caused Bollivar to back her vehicle over Sharp as she attempted to flee the area. After the gunshot the suspects fled in their vehicle while Bollivar, who realized she had run over Sharp, contacted the Sheriff’s Office.

Baity, Gaines, Thompson and Barrington are charged with Murder and Robbery with a Firearm. Baity and Gaines were already in the Leon County Jail on robbery charges filed by the Tallahassee Police Department for an unrelated crime. Thompson was located this afternoon and later booked into the Leon County Jail. Barrington is a juvenile and has been booked into the Juvenile Assessment Center. This investigation continues and additional charges may be filed.

We have not been given a picture of the juvenile.

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