Jury: Storer not guilty
The Tampa restaurant owner chased and killed a robber with his vehicle.
By CARRIE WEIMAR
Published August 3, 2006
TAMPA — A jury on Thursday found restaurant owner Lawrence Storer not guilty of manslaughter for chasing down and killing a man who tried to rob him in 2003.
The six-member jury deliberated about five hours over two days before finding that Storer, 35, was not guilty in the death of Shantavious Wilson.
Storer, who owns Sumos Thai, in downtown Tampa, faced up to 15 years in prison if he had been convicted.
“You’re free to go,’’ Hillsborough Circuit Judge Barbara Fleischer told Storer after the jury’s verdict about 10:50 a.m.
Storer’s attorney John Fitzgibbons argued that he had commited an excusable homicide. Storer, testifying in his defense, told jurors that when Wilson pointed a gun at him, he was terrified of dying, and was acting in shock and instinct when he chased after him in his car. He hit Wilson, killing him on a downtown street.