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Life Sentences Handed Down in Tallahassee Murder Trial

By: Mike Springer;TPD Press Release; Julie Montanaro Email
By: Mike Springer;TPD Press Release; Julie Montanaro Email

Tallahassee, FL - January 15, 2013

Two Tallahassee men were sentenced to life in prison Tuesday for their involvement in a 2010 murder.

After more than two years of investigative work, trials and motions Lamont Harrison and Dave Milton learned their fates.

"Of the offenses as found by the jury, as to count one, murder in the first-degree, the judgment and sentence of the court served, you are sentenced to serve a term of life without the possibility of parole," said Leon County Circuit Judge, Dawn Caloca-Johnson.

In December, both men were found guilty by a jury of first-degree murder. They were arrested in connection to the deadly shooting of Mario Cloud. Cloud was shot and killed inside his kitchen in August 2010.

While Cloud's family declined to speak after sentencing, his mother and sister both spoke in open court.

"There is a big hole in my heart. The hardest thing for me is not my own pain, but the pain in my mother's brothers' and trayvon's eyes," said Cloud's sister before the court.

"I will forever miss his laughter, passion for life and his love for his family and friends," said Cloud's mother.

"Hopefully this will bring some closure to the family. I know it's been a very long process, but obviously we are very pleased with the outcome," said John Hutchins III, assistant state attorney after the sentencing.

Both men have 30 days to appeal their sentence. The attorneys for both Harrison and Milton declined to comment on the judge's ruling.


UPDATED 12.7.2012 6:10pm by Julie Montanaro

Both men were found guilty of murder.

Harrison asked for the jury to be polled, so now we are waiting to see the result.


UPDATED 12.7.2012 6pm by Julie Montanaro

A jury has reached a verdict in the trial. We are waiting for it to be announced in court.


UPDATED 12.6. 2012 by Julie Montanaro

Both sides rested their cases today.

Attorneys are expected to present closing arguments Friday morning.


UPDATED 12.5.2012 6:50pm by Julie Montanaro

A Tallahassee woman took the stand this afternoon and described the day her boyfriend was gunned down in the kitchen as the couple's baby slept in the next room.

Lamont Harrison and Dave Milton are now on trial for the murder.

"He told me to call the police because the n****s outside with guns," Shyla Willis testified Wednesday.

Shyla Willis said it all happened so fast. Before she could dial 911, someone kicked the front door down and fired a shot at her boyfriend Mario Cloud.

Willis testified she is certain Lamont Harrison pulled the trigger.

"He's right over there in the glasses," she said as she pointed to Harrison in court.

"He said "Playboy, where's my money at?"

Willis says she ran to the bedroom to safeguard her 8 month old son, then she heard a scuffle and another gunshot. The second shot killed Cloud.

Harrison and co-defendant Dave Milton are accused of Cloud's murder.

It happened at Cloud's home on Garfield Street back in August 2010.

Witnesses testified that Milton showed up at the home with two guns, handed one of them to Harrison and then Harrison proceeded to kick down the front door.

Testimony Wednesday revealed it was all over a bag of missing money. $18,000 in cash that disappeared from the home of Harrison's girlfriend, Kristee Howard - who happens to be Shyla Willis's sister.

Howard described an angry phone call from Harrison the day of the murder.

"He was very upset. He was just wondering who had taken his money and asked who had a key to my house," Howard said.

Defense attorneys questioned Howard's credibility. She's facing charges as an accessory to murder.

When police arrived to investigate the shooting, they found $4500 in cash in Cloud's washing machine. Even his girlriend wonders where it came from.

"I would assume he took it from my sister's apartment," Willis said. "I don't know."

Testimony is expected to continue tomorrow. We'll keep you posted on a verdict.


Tallahassee, FL - 12.5.2012 2:38 pm - by Julie Montanaro

Shyla Willis is on the stand right now. She was Mario Cloud's girlfriend and was in the house when he was shot and killed.

Willis testified that Cloud ran to her in a back bedroom and told her to call 911 because "those n***** are outside with guns." She said Cloud's lips were trembling. "He was scared for his life."

Willis testified that Lamont Harrison kicked down the door, came in with a gun in his hand, and said "Playboy, where's my money at?"

Willis testified that Harrison's first shot missed Cloud. She says she ran to the bedroom where her 8 month old baby was and heard a scuffle and a second gunshot.

Willis testified that she saw Harrison run out of the house and saw Dave Milton run from the front porch.

On cross examination, Willis admitted she did not actually see Harrison shoot Cloud. She also testified that she was skeptical of the identity of the second person.

Willis also admitted she was smoking marijuana that day.


Tallahassee, FL - 12.5.2012 Noon - by Julie Montanaro

Lamont Harrison and Dave Milton are now on trial for the August 2010 murder of Mario Cloud.

Cloud was shot and killed in his own kitchen at his home on Garfield Street. His girlfriend and eight month old baby were in the home at the time too.

Prosecutors contend Milton showed up at the house in a bullet proof vest with two guns and gave one to Harrison.

Prosecutors contend Harrison kicked down the door of Cloud's home and wanted to know what happened to $18,000 in cash that went missing from his girlfriends house.

Prosecutors contend two shots were fired, including one that hit an artery in Cloud's hip.

Cloud's girlfriend says she saw Harrison and Milton running from the home afterward.

When police came to investigate the shooting, they found $4500 in cash in the washing machine.


UPDATED 9.30.2011 by Julie Montanaro

A judge has scheduled Lamont Harrison's murder trial to begin April 2, 2012.

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[UPDATE] 12-1 2:40

A grand jury has wrapped up deliberations. It indicted Dave Milton of first degree murder for the shooting death of Mario Cloud at his home on Garfield Street in August. Milton was the second gunman involved.

Stay with WCTV for updates.
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UPDATED (9.8.2010 7:10PM)

On September 29, a Leon County grand jury handed down a first degree murder indictment against Lamont Harrison.

A judge ordered that he continue to be held without bond until trial.

Lamont is accused of shooting Mario Cloud in a Garfield Street home in August.
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UPDATED 9.8.2010 by Julie Montanaro

Lamont Harrison was extradited from Georgia and is now in the Leon County Jail awaiting trial. Jail records show he was booked on Friday.

A judge has appointed a public defender to represent Harrison and ordered him held without bond.

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UPDATED 8.24.2010 by Julie Montanaro

The mother of three of murder victim Mario Cloud's children says she's relieved by Lamont Harrison's arrest.

"This will not bring their father back," she said, "but we're happy he is off the street and we hope he never gets out."

Tiffany, who will not reveal her last name, says Cloud has six children including her three children ages 2,3 and 4. She says she told the children about Harrison's arrest last night and said the three year old smiled and went to sleep.

"It's a relief that he is off the streets, but it is painful that Dada is not coming back," Tiffany said.

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UPDATED 8.24.2010 by Julie Montanaro

Tallahassee murder suspect Lamont Harrison is now in custody in Stockbridge, Georgia.

A TPD Spokesman says Harrison was arrested at about 7 o'clock Monday night as he and a woman walked out of the Golden Corral restaurant.

TPD Spokesman David McCranie says marshals got a tip and surrounded the restaurant. He says Harrison was surprised and surrendered without trying to fight or run.

Harrison will eventually be brought back to Tallahassee to
face murder, armed burglary and firearm charges. Harrison is accused of breaking down the door at 3006 Garfield Street and shooting Mario Cloud back on August 5th.

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The Tallahassee Police Department have also issued a press release.

Tallahassee, Florida (Press Release) -- On Thursday, August 5, 2010, the Tallahassee Police Department responded to a shooting at 3006 Garfield Street. Upon arrival, officers discovered that 36-year-old Mario Cloud had been murdered. Investigators soon learned that prior to his death, Cloud had been involved in an argument over missing money. According to information obtained during this investigation, 36-year-old Lamont Harrison was identified as the person who shot and killed Cloud.

Investigator Vincent Boccio from the Tallahassee Police Department's Violent Crimes Unit obtained a murder warrant for the arrest of Harrison on Sunday, August 8, 2010.

Harrison eluded capture until a tip led the U.S. Marshal's Southeast Regional Fugitive Task Force to a restaurant in Stockbridge, Georgia. U.S. Marshals captured Harrison without incident as he exited the restaurant at approximately 7:00PM Monday.

Harrison will eventually be extradited back to Tallahassee, Florida where he will face charges of murder, armed burglary, and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.

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**** Update 5:00 PM 8-13-2010 ***

Tallahassee, FL - A Tallahassee murder suspect may be across state lines. 36 year old Lamont Harrison's picture is on the news in Dothan, Alabama tonight. Tallahassee Police say they have information that he may be in Dothan staying with family or friends.
Harrison is accused of breaking into a home on Garfield Street last week and shooting 36 year old Mario Cloud at point blank range in an argument over money.
If you know anything about Harrison's whereabouts, call Crime Stoppers at 850-574-TIPS.

Note: You can see what Harrison looks like by clicking the pictures icon above.

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Tallahassee, FL - Last Thursday, the Tallahassee Police Department responded to a reported shooting at 3006 Garfield Street. Upon arrival, officers discovered that 36-year-old Mario Cloud had been shot and later succumbed to his injury. Investigators from the Tallahassee Police Department's Violent Crime Unit responded to the scene and began reviewing physical evidence along with witness statements.

Investigator Vincent Boccio obtained a murder warrant for the arrest of 36-year-old Lamont Harrison based on witness statements obtained during the investigation. Investigators learned that prior to the shooting Cloud was involved in an argument with several people about missing money. According to witnesses, Harrison arrived at Cloud's home and Cloud quickly went into his house. Harrison is reported to have kicked open the front door of Cloud's home, eventually fatally shooting Cloud.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Lamont Harrison is asked to contact the Tallahassee Police Department at (850)891-4200 or Crime Stoppers at (850)574-TIPS (8477). Remember, Crime Stoppers does not want your name, just your information. You could be eligible for a cash reward.

WANTED: Lamont A. Harrison, B/M, 10/2/73 CHARGES: Murder, Armed Burglary, and Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon.


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