ORLANDO, Fla. — Two of three teenage boys who are accused in the beating death of a teenage boy in Winter Park last year faced a judge Thursday.
Simeon Hall, 15, and Jesse Sutherland, 15, are charged with manslaughter in connection with the death of 15-year-old Roger Trindade.
Jagger Gouda, 14, was charged with witness tampering and battery -- charges to which he pleaded no contest. He's scheduled to be sentenced in November.
Investigators said Trindade sprayed Gouda with skunk spray in October 2016 as a prank.
Police said Gouda called Hall and Sutherland, who beat Trindade unconscious in downtown Winter Park's Central Park. Trindade was removed from life support following a two-day hospitalization.
Police said someone also sprayed Trindade with skunk spray and that Gouda threatened a middle school student who witnessed the beating.
Attorneys for Hall and Sutherland had filed "stand your ground" motions in the case, arguing that the boys acted in self-defense. But the judge denied those motions during Thursday's hearing.
"The court finds that even if they initially had some reason to go to this location, once they arrived and there was no fight taking place, these two individuals initiated the only fight that happened," the judge said.
Gouda testified Thursday that a friend sprayed Trindade with skunk spray. He said that Trindade started to chase him, so he called Southerland for help, who he said brought Hall with him.
Southerland said that he was scared and felt the need to defend himself when Trindade closed his fists.
The judge ruled Thursday that Trindade didn't strike anyone even after being pranked by Gouda and his friend. The judge also said that Southerland and Hall initiated the fight.
Witnesses told investigators that Trindade was trying to walk away when the teenagers tried to pick a fight with him, prosecutors said.
Hall was supposed to be on house arrest until the hearing, but entered the courtroom like an inmate. A separate hearing Thursday was supposed to address why that was, but it was held behind closed doors.
Adriana Thomé, Trindade's mother, traveled from Brazil to attend Thursday's hearing. She told Channel 9 that there was no way her unarmed, 100-pound son could have posed a threat to the larger boys.
"It's justice, of course. But I don't understand why my son was in this situation," Thomé said. "Never will I understand. I wake up every day trying to understand why he's in this situation."
Sutherland and Hall's trial is scheduled to begin in November.
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