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By Times staff reports

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 1, 2002


Suspect in three slayings receives deal, reports say

Suspect in three slayings receives deal, reports say

BRADENTON -- A man set to stand trial in the deaths of a woman and her two young daughters has reached a deal with prosecutors to plead guilty but avoid the death penalty, newspapers report.

Citing unnamed sources, the Bradenton Herald and the Sarasota Herald-Tribune said in Thursday editions that Larry Parks is set to enter the guilty plea at a hearing today.

Parks was to stand trial in April in the 1999 deaths of Sherry-Ann Brannon and her daughters, Shelby, 7, and Cassidy, 4, at their rural home.

Neither the lead defense attorney, Jim Slater, nor prosecutor Charlie Roberts could be reached for comment Thursday. Both declined to comment to the newspapers.

Parks, 47, would receive three life sentences and would be required to give prosecutors a detailed account of the slayings, the newspapers reported.

Parks, a landscaper, had worked at the Brannon home in the months before the slayings. Prosecutors said DNA and other physical evidence linked him to the crime.

Any agreement would need the approval of Circuit Judge Durand Adams.

Man gets life sentence in student's fatal shooting

TAMPA -- Hillsborough County Circuit Judge Cynthia Holloway sentenced Jose Fabian Santiago to life in prison Wednesday for the murder of a 16-year-old Chamberlain High School student in July 2000.

Santiago, 21, was convicted last month of gunning down Kevin A. Hayes with a bullet meant for someone else in the parking of the Garage nightclub in downtown Tampa. Santiago was also convicted of attempted murder for shooting another man in the lung and kidney.

The shooting started after an argument about stolen car rims.

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