TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — A Florida man serving a 40-year sentence for beating a homeless man to death with a baseball bat will get a new trial.
The state Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the jury that convicted Thomas Daugherty was given erroneous instructions. Daugherty was 17 when he and two friends found Norris Gaynor sleeping on a Fort Lauderdale bench in January 2006. They beat him with a baseball bat and fired a paintball gun at him. The trio of teens also attacked two other homeless men that night. One beating was captured on a Florida Atlantic University surveillance camera and broadcast nationally.
Daugherty was convicted of second-degree and sentenced to life in 2008. His sentenced was reduced to 40 years in 2012 because he was a minor when he committed the crime.