View Full Version : Local prep athletes face murder charges

02-03-2009, 04:05 PM
Some of the comments are funny, some are just ignorant. (http://www.bradenton.com/news/local/story/1198759.html)

BRADENTON — Two high school football players have been arrested on charges they killed a 55-year-old woman during a botched home invasion robbery. One of the teenagers is paralyzed after one of the robbery victims shot back, according to the Bradenton Police Department.

Detectives arrested Palmetto High School students Ta Heem Blake, 17, a former running back for the school, and Marquis Sanders, 18, who transferred from Bayshore High School. They face charges in the shooting death of Maria Lerna early Sunday, Bradenton Police Deputy Chief William Tokajer said.

Blake and Sanders are accused of barging into Lerna’s home in the 900 block of 25th Street East just before 6 a.m. Sunday in a robbery attempt.

Marquis Sanders
900 25th St. E., Bradenton, FL Map data 2009 Tele Atlas - Terms of UseMapSatelliteHybrid
The teens found Lerna and two men in the home when they entered, and Blake opened fire with an SKS rifle, according to Tokajer. Detectives say he killed Lerna, and shot one of the men in the house in the arm.

Sanders had a pistol in his hand but did not fire, according to Tokajer.

The teens did not count on one of the men in the home pulling his own gun, firing and hitting Blake. Police officers and emergency personnel found Blake shot in the doorway of Lerna’s home, according to Tokajer.

Sanders escaped but Blake’s injuries left him paralyzed with a severed spine. Tokajer said detectives have obtained an arrest warrant for Blake on a murder charge, and Pinellas County deputies were expected to serve Blake at Bayfront Medical Center in St. Petersburg on Monday night.

“He is not being cooperative,” Tokajer said.

But Tokajer said Sanders confessed after detectives took him into custody at Palmetto High School on Monday afternoon. Tokajer declined to say what led detectives to the former Bayshore High School football and basketball player.

For much of the day, police questioned Sanders and arrested him on a murder charge. He was booked into the Manatee County jail Monday night, jail officials said.

The shooting came as a shock to both police and school officials.

“This was an aggressive and shocking crime. These are two youths, with what appears to be promising lives that have been ruined by their actions,” Tokajer said.

“I hope kids will take this as a lesson how fast they can ruin their lives and the lives of others.”

Manatee School District spokeswoman Margi Nanney declined to comment on how the boys may be disciplined by the district, citing confidentiality rules.

“It is really a tragic situation. These students will have to face the consequences of their actions,” Nanney said.

The charges come a little more than six months after Manatee County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested another local football player on a murder charge.

Lakewood Ranch High School quarterback Tim Brooks remains in jail awaiting a trial on a first-degree murder indictment in the July 2008 shooting and robbery of William White Jr.

Sheriff’s reports say Brooks shot and killed White, 19, during a botched robbery.


Sad as hell, for the victims. Too bad the person shooting back didn't kill both scumbags.

02-03-2009, 08:57 PM
Ta Heem and Marquis? I would say they had a lot of pent up anger from being given such stupid names. I feel bad for the victims. These boys actions have ruined many lives including their own.:mad:

02-03-2009, 09:34 PM
Ta Heem and Marquis? I would say they had a lot of pent up anger from being given such stupid names. I feel bad for the victims. These boys actions have ruined many lives including their own.:mad:

Marquis isn't so bad (still unusual, though)...it's a member of royalty in many European monarchies (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marquis).

02-04-2009, 10:40 AM
I know Florida has the death penalty, but I really think that for the kid who ended up paralyzed, a life prison sentence, spent in a wheelchair, is probably more severe.