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Shawn Tyson guilty of murdering two Britons in Florida

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An American teenager has
been jailed for life in the US after being found guilty of the first
degree murder of two British tourists in Florida.
James Cooper, 25, from Warwickshire, and James Kouzaris, 24, from Northampton, were shot in Sarasota.

The pair, who met at Sheffield University, were killed after
drunkenly wandering into the Newtown area in the early hours of 16 April
The court heard Shawn Tyson, 17, had killed them after trying to rob them.

It also emerged that hours before the murders, Tyson had been released after his arrest following a shooting on 7 April.

Tyson, who was tried as an adult at Sarasota County Court
despite having been 16 at the time of the murders, was given two life
sentences without the eligibility of parole.
'Pain you have caused'
Before sentence was passed, two of the British pair's friends read out impact statements to the court.

Joe Hallett accused Tyson of taking everyone involved on a "journey to hell during the past 12 months".

He said: "You murdered two people who, if you had given them the chance, would have given you the time of day.

"Every night you go to sleep, every morning you wake up, I want you to think of my friends who you murdered."

He added: "I hope that you and your family suffer every
single second of every single day, just as the loved ones of James
Kouzaris and James Cooper do.
"For every painful detail of their deaths I have endured, for
each disturbing photo I have been exposed to, I am still glad I have
this opportunity to look into your eyes and try to explain the pain that
you have caused."The families also criticised the Sarasota court system that had freed
Tyson after a judge had warned the teenager was a danger to the public
following the earlier shooting, in which no-one was hurt.
In the statement, the families said: "The evil of the killer
is one thing, but the fact is, he would not have been on the streets
had instructions to keep him incarcerated been passed from one judge to

Joe Hallet: "Shawn Tyson... you took us all on a journey to hell"

When the mistake came to light the
Mayor of Sarasota, Kelly Kirschener, vowed the city's prosecutors would
never let anything similar happen again.
The court also saw a video made by Mr Kouzaris's parents. His
father Peter, with his wife by his side, said: "The 16th of April,
2011, will be etched in the hearts and the memories of all those people
who loved and had the privilege of loving James.
"Who could have imagined the tragic events that unfolded so cruelly?"
He added his son "had been needlessly taken" in a "moment of madness."

During the trial, jurors heard how Mr Kouzaris, a local
government officer, and tennis coach Mr Cooper had been out drinking in
downtown Sarasota before getting lost and wandering into the Newtown
area in the early hours.

Added: Mar-29-2012 Occurred On: Mar-29-2012
By: LickyLicky
World News
Tags: Sean Tyson, Florida, Sarasota, USA, murder, James Kouzaris, James Cooper
Location: Florida, United States (load item map)
Views: 1592 | Comments: 32 | Votes: 0 | Favorites: 0 | Shared: 0 | Updates: 0 | Times used in channels: 2
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