• Jacksonville teen sentenced for 2014 murder of homeless man


    BACKGROUND: One of Jacksonville's youngest murder suspects enters plea
    Murder of homeless man 'Great tragedy for the community'  

    Sharron Townsend, 15, was sentenced Monday to 30 years in the 2014 death of Thomas Trent.

    Townsend has 30 days to appeal the sentence. Townsend was given nearly 1,000 days credited for time already served. His sentence will be reviewed after he serves 15 years, and he will be on probation for 10 years after his release.  

    Trent, a homeless man, was shot in the head on June 28, 2014 by Townsend, making Townsend one of the youngest murder suspects in Florida history.

    Townsend pled guilty to the murder in June 2016.

    Townsend was reportedly part of a group of two boys who argued with Trent for weeks.

    “I've watched it go on and on and on,” said another homeless man, who didn’t give his real name, in 2014. “He would drink and they'd come around and throw stuff on him when he was passed out.

    “He would cuss them and throw stuff at them. Then they started urinating on him and would pour Cokes on him, so he got mad and threw rocks at them and I think he hit one of them.”

    Police say Townsend is one of boys seen in surveillance video that was released days after the killing. The video was captured by ASAP Dental Care, a business in a nearby strip mall.

    “Yeah, he was homeless, yeah he had a problem [with] drinking, but that didn’t make a reason for him to be killed,” Trent’s sister, Dawn McNabb, said in 2014. That didn’t make a reason for him to be a target.”

    Townsend was arrested and interrogated. The video of the interrogation was released in 2016.

    His mother was upset, saying he should have not said anything without a lawyer present, and that his life is ruined.

    “You only 12 years old. You not even understanding. You just threw your whole life away,” she said.

    The families of Townsend and Trent were each in the court Monday. Neither made any comment.  




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