Juvenile pleads not guilty

First Posted: 2/5/2015

LIMA — A 17-year-old boy charged in the city’s first homicide of the year could be tried as an adult on the charge of murder, officials said Thursday.

Instead of trying Damere Crockett as a juvenile which could put him in prison until he turns 21, the prosecution is seeking to try him as an adult where he could potentially face a life sentence with the chance for parole after 15 years in prison.

Crockett entered the equivalent of a not guilty plea to murder and felonious assault. The assault charge is a second-degree felony and carries up to eight years in prison. Both charges carry firearm specifications that carry three-year sentences.

Allen County Juvenile Judge Glenn Derryberry carefully explained the charges to Crockett and the potential penalties.

Last week, Crockett made a statement in court defending himself.

“I had nothing to do with it. I didn’t shoot nobody,” Crockett told the judge.

Crockett is charged in the slaying of 19-year-old Khylil Florence and the shooting of his cousin, Darod Florence, 17, who was wounded in the knee. A detective said Crockett encountered two people he did not like Jan. 28 in the 700 block of Greenlawn Avenue.

A fight followed and Crockett pulled a firearm he used to shoot Khylil Florence and Darod Florence, Lima police Detc. Todd Jennings said.

Darod Florence later picked Crockett out of a photo lineup as the man who shot him and his cousin. Police then arrested Crockett.

Crockett remains in custody.

Another teen may have been with Crockett during the incident. Police continue to investigate what role, if any, that teen played in the matter. That teen is being held on a probation violation.

Lima Police Maj. Chip Protsman said Thursday police continue to investigate the incident.

The slaying was the city’s first homicide of the year. Florence’s funeral is scheduled for Saturday.

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