• Teens accused in beating death of Winter Park teen reject plea deals

    By: Field Sutton

    Updated:

    ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. - Two teenagers accused of fatally beating a Winter Park High School student will go to trial Monday morning.Jesse Sutherland and Simeon Hall are facing manslaughter charges in the death of Roger Trindade in October 2016.

    Investigators said Jagger Gouda sprayed Trindade with skunk spray as a prank.

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    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.

    Read: Teen involved in Winter Park student's beating sentenced, another in court

    In court Friday, Sutherland and Hall were offered plea deals that carried up to three years in prison, but the teens rejected them.

    Sutherland's attorney fought to have his client tried separately from Hall.

    Read: Winter Park fatal beating suspect accused of attacking another teen, police say

    Prosecutors countered by claiming there's no legal reason for taxpayers to pay for two trials.

    "I understand strategically why they don't want to be connected with each other under the same jury, but that is not a justification to have two separate trials,” said Ninth Circuit Assistant State Attorney Teri Mills Uvalle said.

    The trial begins at 9 a.m. Monday. Watch it live here when it happens.

    Sutherland and Hall were moved to the adult court system for unspecified reasons after being charged originally as juveniles. They both face up to fifteen years in prison if convicted of manslaughter.

    Gouda pleaded guilty to witness tampering and battery in February.

    The judge followed a recommendation from the Department of Juvenile Justice for what’s called a non-secure residential commitment.

    It means Gouda will not be in a jail cell, but he will be in custody 24 hours a day in a more relaxed setting.

    Read: Boy files appeal in Winter Park boy's beating death case

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