A 23-year-old Florida man has pleaded guilty to a murder that occurred in early 2022 — receiving a 35-year prison sentence, says the Sarasota Police Department.
According to a press release from the Sarasota Police Department, the crime happened shortly after midnight on Thursday, January 6, 2022, outside of Moore's Grocery located at 1993 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr Way in Sarasota, Florida. Johnny Evans was said to have shot the victim twice before fleeing the scene in his father's 1997 Toyota Camry.
Later that day, police say that Evans fled to Mississippi in a rental car, where he was able to evade law enforcement for approximately two months. Detectives worked the case by following evidence and tracking down every possible lead, ultimately resulting in Evans' arrest on February 25, 2022, with the assistance of the U.S. Marshals Service.
On July 14, 2023, the 23-year-old stood before Judge Dana Moss at a Stand Your Ground hearing. Florida's Stand Your Ground Law authorizes the use of deadly force in situations where you believe your own life may be in danger. However, instead of following through with the hearing, that morning in court, Evans chose to plead guilty to murder, receiving a 35-year prison sentence.
According to arrest records from the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office, Evans received two additional charges on July 3 and July 10 of this year; one for carrying a prohibited weapon openly, and another for possession of a weapon or ammo by a convicted felon. Records show Evans is set to be arraigned for these charges on September 1 and 8 of 2023.
To read the press release in full, click here.
Article by Rachael Volpe