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.

----------------------------------------------------
[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.
___________________________________

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.
----------------------------------------------------------

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.

-----------------------------------------------------------
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.

------------------------------------------------------------
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.

--

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.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
**** 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.

----------------------------------------------
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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  • by be real Location: 4 real on Mar 27, 2012 at 04:41 PM
    how can a baby mama live with her mama and sista who are charged with accessories after the fact of helping kill her so called boyfriend's ??? her brother in law shoot the guy and she live with her people who helped him die??????wake up peeple. charge the real people
  • by U KNW Location: THE TRUTH on Mar 5, 2012 at 05:41 PM
    YOU ALL WHO ARE INVOLVED AND KNOW THE TRUTH NEED TO SERIOUSLY COME CLEAN, CAUSE THE TRUTH GONA COME OUT, AND YOU ALL WITNESSES BETTER STOP PRTOTECTING THE GUILTY ONES, YOU ALL KNOW THE TRUTH, SPEAK IT SO JUSTICE CAN B SERVED
  • by Whitney Location: Tallahassee on Dec 20, 2011 at 07:41 AM
    This is Whitney..Mario Cloud was my uncle! I cant believe he is gone. I hope the men that shot him rot in hell! I will never forgive them or anything! Even if I did that will not bring my Unble back at all!
  • by Fam1c Location: Miami on Feb 7, 2011 at 05:49 PM
    What I want to know is why no one has brought up the fact that Ballie was doing well before getting back into the "business" trying to satisfy his "woman" who enticed him with the criminal life by giving him material things. I knew She was going to be looking for what she put out plus!now he is in a far worse position than he ever was. shayla I hope you take responsibility for the role you played in this catastrophe. More than likely though you have moved on to the next mark. Ballie was trying to change his life.If you loved him you would have helped him do that instead of encouraging him to "make that money"
  • by mario Location: tallahassee on Dec 13, 2010 at 02:38 AM
    people need to stop trying to be the judge and jewrery .as for jacksonville u need to fine god ,to much hate in your heart .go pray lier!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • by E Location: G on Dec 2, 2010 at 10:34 AM
    In all the years I have known him I never seen him do any wrong or heard any bad things about him. He seemed to be well mannered and quiet to me compared to the others.
  • by Anonymous on Dec 2, 2010 at 08:48 AM
    you all need to leave mrio alone. cause whoever talks trash and dont know him need to stop talking trash. you people leave him alone. look at yourself in a mirror
  • by e Location: g on Dec 2, 2010 at 07:16 AM
    is this the same case where a female and her mother are also charged as accessories? If so, she lied to the shooters and that is why mario is deceased! She is to blame for this whole thing for trying to keep the dirty money and put it on someone else. This is so said because I know all the parties involved for several years and now their lives are ruined!
    • reply
      by anonymous on Mar 27, 2012 at 04:43 PM in reply to e
      come forward, speak up the truth. u right, lied to the shooter.....mario would be alive,,,some people wanted him dead
  • by Hated By Many Location: Jacksonville on Dec 1, 2010 at 10:02 PM
    This is so sad and stupid. Mr. Cloud was murdered does anyone not respect that, let him be at peace. They say when your alive people throw dirt on your name and then when you die they throw more dirt on you. Whats wrong with our society, no empathy, no respect for the living and definitely not the dead. The lesson from this stupid mistake is if it doesnt belong to u dont take, Mr.Cloud should have never taken Mr.Harrisons money and Mr.Harrison had no right for taking Mr.Clouds life. Cloud was a robber. Are they not focusing on that, he took that money, the cops even found the money in Cloud's house but I guess it does not matter to the TPD, I dont know what type of Justice system they have in the capitol city but it's wack!!! If it walk like a duck, quack like a duck, it's a DUCK, so why are these people lives being ruined over.......
  • by JC3BLESSED Location: Tallahassee on Dec 1, 2010 at 01:20 PM
    What a Great Person You were Mario.... You touched so many lives.... I pray that your Family and friends hold tight to the fact that they have a wonderful angel watching over them now... Do not pay attention to the negativity that breeds on these blogs, every story is made into a Race war or an "off with their head" attitude... They didn't know the person behind the Camo do rag :) As you judge, You Will be judged... You remain in my prayers, I am thankful for the amazing friend Mario was to my Brother, it cannot be replaced. (I am a white woman who pays her taxes, as I'm sure the crazies of you will assume I am black or ignorant, Love & Kindness knows no boundary)
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