Theft Victim Says Recent Murder Preventable

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A Tallahassee man currently in jail for a recent murder was not prosecuted in a grand theft case.

24 year old Tryone Guinnie Junior was charged with stealing a woman's truck and thousands of dollars of equipment last year.

On April 8, police say Tyrone Guinnie punched and pistol whipped 29 year old George Brewster who later died.

Guinnie is charged with murder.

Court records show it's far from his first run in with the law.

"Come home, find my truck was stolen," said Ursala Staten.

Staten was living at a home in the 2100 block of Saxon Street in south Tallahassee.

Court records say Jeffery Phillips presented a fake bill of sale to a tow truck operator.

That operator says Guinnie was with Phillips.

Both men were charged with stealing the truck and thousands of dollars of Staten's tools she used in her home repair business.

Phillips pled guilty and was given five years probation.

Assistant State Attorney Erin Cuzzort decided not to prosecute Guinnie even though he was seen with the stolen tools twice.

"She wasn't welcoming or understanding of the fact that my whole business had been stolen, not just a vehicle, but my business," Staten said.

"I think most crime victims feel like they want the death penalty," said State Attorney Willie Meggs.

Meggs says Guinnie's denial of knowing the truck and tools were stolen was enough not to prosecute.

However Staten's attorney Stephen Webster says Florida law puts the burden on defendants caught with stolen property to prove they didn't know it was stolen.

"That was my position," said Webster.

When asked if successfully prosecuting Guinnee in her theft case last year might have prevented the recent murder, Staten said, "Theoretically yes."

However, Meggs says most grand theft cases don't result in prison time.

He says even if Guinnie had been successfully prosecuted in the truck case, despite a criminal history including a weapons probation violation, Guinnie likely would've been given probation.

A second suspect has been arrested in connection to the Mission Road homicide case.

Arrest papers show 22-year-old Christopher Adams faces a second-degree murder charge in the death of 29-year-old George Brewster. Tyrone Guinnie was arrested earlier this month and also faces a murder charge for Brewster's death.

Reports show Brewster was beat up in the parking lot of the Stratford Landing Apartments on Mission Road on April 8th. He was found dead inside his apartment three days later.

TPD says Guinnie punched and then pistol-whipped Brewster. According to reports, four other people then started kicking and stomping him. Autopsy reports show Brewster died from traumatic brain injury. Still no word how long Brewster had been dead before his body was found.


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