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Once a key witness, man now faces own sentence

By BILL COATS

© St. Petersburg Times, published March 16, 2001


TAMPA -- Jarrett Brock, who helped convict a former friend in a videotaped stabbing in Ybor City last year, was sentenced to 18 months in prison Thursday on unrelated charges.

Judge Herbert Baumann ordered that Brock, 19, of Lutz be incarcerated in a different prison from Michael Fuqua, who was convicted of murder in November, partly on Brock's testimony that Fuqua borrowed a knife from him and bragged about the stabbing afterward.

Fuqua, 24, is in an Orlando prison, serving a life sentence. He is appealing his conviction.

Brock has been in the Hillsborough County Jail since August, when he was charged with slashing two men at a keg party in Lutz. After Brock's guilty pleas Thursday, Baumann credited him for the seven months in jail, meaning he should be free in less than a year.

Brock potentially faced 7 to 60 years in prison on charges stemming from three incidents. He had been accused of:

Pawning stereo equipment from an apartment burglary in December 1999.

Breaking a man's jaw in an altercation last May at a McDonald's in Lutz.

The slashing incident, in which one victim received about 500 stitches to close wounds on his face and reattach a partially severed ear.

On Thursday Brock's attorney submitted checks to reimburse several of the victims for medical expenses and lost wages. Shannon Hudson, cut on the back of the neck in August, is to receive $2,820. Kiel Flynn, injured at the McDonald's, is to get $1,336. Aaron Burrman, whose equipment was stolen, is to get $838.

Brian Blanton, whose ear was reattached, received $4,486 from a state crimes compensation fund. Brock is required to reimburse that fund.

As a condition of five years' probation he will serve after prison, Brock was forbidden to contact several youths considered to be members of the Lutz Boyz, a local gang. Deputies had considered Fuqua a leader of the group, and Brock a member. Two of the men Brock is to avoid are Jamie McCullough and Jesse Ferris, who testified as defense witnesses in Fuqua's trial.

Prosecutor Terryn Burnett said the intent of the restriction should have been clear to Brock.

"The defendant knows we're talking about the Lutz Boyz," she said.

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