Florida state attorney Monique Worrell hits Governor Ron DeSantis after his criticism of the shooting in Orlando’s Pine Hills neighborhood that left three dead and two wounded in February.
Keith Melvin Moses, 19, is charged with killing three people and wounding two others in a pair of shootings on March 22. Spectrum News 13 reporter Dylan Lyons, 24, Nathacha Augustin, 38, and T’yonna Major, 9, were fatally shot Wednesday. Jesse Walden, 29, a videographer for Spectrum News 13, was also injured in the shooting and remains in critical condition at a local hospital. The 9-year-old’s mother was also shot.
The first shooting occurred around 11 a.m. when deputies responded to the Pine Hills neighborhood and found Augustin dead after she was shot.
Deputies then responded to a separate shooting reportedly committed by Moses around 4 p.m., when Lyons, Major, her mother, and Walden were shot.
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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis speaks after being sworn in to begin his second term at an inauguration ceremony outside the old Capitol on January 3, 2023 in Tallahassee, Florida. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky, File)
DeSantis said at a recent press conference that, according to FOX 35, Worrell does not persecute people.
“I know the District Attorney, the Orlando District Attorney that you don’t prosecute people and that’s the way you somehow have better communities,” DeSantis said.
Keith Melvin Moses is being held in the Orange County Jail on charges of armed burglary of a residence with a firearm, three counts of first-degree murder, and two counts of attempted first-degree murder. (Orange County Sheriff’s Office)
On Feb. 28, his office recently sent a letter to Worrell requesting more details about Moses’ criminal record, such as documents related to his juvenile record.
Orange County Sheriff John Mina said Moses has a long criminal history with at least eight felonies and 11 misdemeanor arrests ranging from gun possession, aggravated assault, aggravated battery, assault with a deadly weapon, burglary and grand larceny.
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Worrell said at a news conference Thursday that DeSantis wants more control over politics across the state.
“It’s not about whether I’m following the law or not. This isn’t about whether my policies pose a threat to public safety. This is about the governor wanting to control politics across the state and frankly, that’s dangerous .” because this is a democracy, it is not a dictatorship,” she said.
Dylan Lyons, journalist killed in shooting in Orlando area on Wednesday. (Dylan Colby/Facebook; Fox & Friends/Screengrab)
Worrel said she supports the way her office handled Moses’ juvenile cases, which date back to 2018 and 2019, before she took office.
“He was on the street because he did not commit an offense that would have required or even warranted a life sentence,” Worrell said.
When Fox News Digital reached out for comment, a DeSantis spokesperson said it “expects compliance” from Worrell’s office regarding the requested information on Feb. 28.
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“The failure of your office to hold this individual accountable for his actions – despite his extensive criminal history and his ties to gangs – may have allowed this dangerous individual to remain on the streets. It is clear that Mr. Moses was never in the position should have been for those senseless crimes last week As we try to learn valuable lessons from this heartbreaking event, we must determine whether Mr. Moses was made possible by gaps in our criminal laws that need to be corrected, or, to be fair, the fact that your office has not acted properly,” the letter from DeSantis’s office reads.
Adam Sabes is a writer for Fox News Digital. Story tips can be sent to [email protected] and on Twitter @asabes10.