Florida Teen Gets Life for Murdering British Tourists

Shawn Tyson, 17, was given two life sentences without the possibility of parole for killing the two young men in April 2011.

Posted: 03/29/2012 01:17 PM EDT

A jury in Sarasota, Florida, found 17-year-old Florida teen Shawn Tyson guilty of murdering two British tourists who wandered into his neighborhood one night in April 2011.


Tyson, who was 16 at the time of the murders, was tried as an adult and was given two life sentences without the possibility of parole.


British tourists James Cooper, 25, and James Kouzaris, 24, got drunk during a night out on the town and ended up in the neighborhood of Newtown while on their way to a nearby IHOP.


Tyson shot both men after he demanded the men give him money, and they replied they had none to give.  At the time of the shooting, Tyson was out on bail for a separate gun crime, and testimony by one of his friends showed he previously pointed a gun at her and her niece, telling the pair, “I’ll kill you.”


In addition to the evidence found at the scene of the shootings, Tyson allegedly bragged to one of his friends about killing the men, a friend testified.


“Every night you go to sleep, every morning you wake up, I want you to think of my friends who you murdered," the victims’ friend, Joe Hallett, told Tyson in court. "Their images will be imprinted on your conscience until your very last breath in life."


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(Photo: AP Photo/Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Elaine Litherland, Pool)

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