UK/Florida: Teen found guilty of murdering two British tourists

THE families of two British tourists shot dead in Florida last night branded their killer “evil” as he was found guilty of their murder.

James Kouzaris, 24, and James Cooper, 25, were gunned down after they drunkenly walked into a public housing estate in the Newtown area of Sarasota in the early hours of April 16 last year.

Shawn Tyson, 17, was last night found guilty of two counts of first degree murder after a trial at Sarasota County Courthouse.

The 17-year-old, wearing an orange shirt and brown tie, sat emotionless as the verdict was read out to the court, as did his mother Kenyatta Whitfield, in the public gallery.

They were confronted by Tyson, who tried to rob them, then when they had no money, told them: “well since you ain’t got no money, I got something for your ass.”

The men, from Northampton, pleaded to go home, saying they were drunk. But the teenager, then 16, shot first one of them, then the other.

Tyson boasted to friend Latrece Washington that one of the victims was “crying for his life”, and he had shot him and “emptied the clip on him”.

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In a statement released aer the verdict the families said: “We are satisfied with the verdict.

“It is a fact that we were given a life sentence when our sons were so brutally and needlessly taken from us.

“Ours is a life sentence, with no chance of parole from a broken heart, and a shattered soul. The agonising and searing pain we have experienced will continue until our sentence is at an end.

“The evil of the killer is one thing, but the fact is, he would not have been on the streets had instructions to keep him incarcerated been passed from one judge to another.”