Brevard County clerk killer re-sentenced to life in prison without parole

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BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. —

A convicted killer was returned to Brevard County to be resentenced following a Supreme Court ruling, which overturned mandatory sentences for juvenile murder suspects.

Last year, Anthony Horsley was convicted of gunning down shopkeeper Ken Patel in his Palm Bay store.

Horsley was just 17 years old at the time of the killing and was given a mandatory life sentence under Florida law. However, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in June juveniles who commit murder can't be given mandatory life sentences.

During Thursday's hearing, Horsley, now 23, tried to convince the judge he should be sentenced based on a "score" set out by previous convictions.

"I don't think you fully understood what I was trying to say," Horsley said to the judge.

"I don't think you need to do anything other than walk up here and sit down right now," Judge Charles Crawford responded.

Horsley's new attorney took the chance at the resentencing to try to lay out Horsley's childhood circumstances in the hopes of swaying the judge for a lighter sentence.

"My dad was on crack cocaine and he was in and out of prison and my mother was on cocaine, so I couldn't stay with her," Horsley testified.

Horsley also said he was physically and verbally abused by his grandmother.

Judge Crawford said he considered Horsley's age at the time of the murder but said if there was ever a crime suitable for "life without parole," it was the one committed by Horsley.

"He was the leader of this murderous cabal. He planned it. He was the shooter," Crawford ruled.

Horsley was sent back to prison for the rest of his life without the possibility of parole.