Florida

‘Murder’ is tattooed on a Florida man’s neck. It’s also why he is going to prison

1 dead in Bradenton after home invasion, shootout

A home invasion turned into a shootout late Wednesday and left one of the residents injured and one of the suspects dead.
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A home invasion turned into a shootout late Wednesday and left one of the residents injured and one of the suspects dead.

A Bradenton man known by the alias “Murder,” which is tattooed on his neck, pleaded guilty to murder charges in connection to a 2016 home invasion that left a fellow suspect dead after a shootout.

On the night of May 4, 2016, Courtney Lawrence, Emanuel Johnson and two or three other suspects stormed into a home in the 700 block of 64th Avenue East in Bradenton and demanded money from the resident. The resident and the suspects exchanged gunfire at the entrance to the home’s garage, which left the resident, Lawrence and Johnson with injuries.

The resident’s wife arrived moments later to find her husband and Johnson lying on the driveway. They were both rushed to a local hospital where Johnson, 21, later died.

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Courtney “Murder” Johnson was sentenced to 40 years in prison after pleading guilty to charges including murder in connection to a 2016 armed home invasion. Manatee County Sheriff's Office Provided photo

Lawrence, 30, who has the nickname “Murder,” was quickly identified as a suspect when he was dropped off at Manatee Memorial Hospital within half an hour of the shooting with multiple gunshot wounds to his buttocks and a shoulder injury. According to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office investigation, Lawrence admitted to his uncle who dropped him off at Manatee Memorial that he had been shot during an armed robbery in which an accomplice had been killed.

On Monday afternoon, Lawrence pleaded guilty to second-degree felony murder with a firearm, attempted murder with a firearm, armed burglary of a dwelling with a firearm and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He was sentenced to 40 years in a Florida prison. He will have serve at least 10 years.

Lawrence did not address the court.

Johnson‘s family and the victim of the armed home invasion were in the courtroom during the hearing but declined to make victim impact statements. As the hearing neared its conclusion, however, Johnson’s family became more and more emotional.

At the time of his death, Johnson’s mother had told detectives that she had warned her son against following Lawrence around because of his violent behavior.

Lawrence was on probation at the time of the fatal shooting and armed home invasion for convictions of armed robbery and sale or delivery of a controlled substance. His criminal history also includes two additional armed robbery convictions as an adult and burglary, grand theft of a motor vehicle, attempted burglary of a dwelling, burglary of a dwelling and grand theft convictions as a juvenile.

At the time of his arrest in connection in this case, Lawrence was a suspect in at least one other homicide, the 2011 fatal shooting of 26-year-old James Earl Collins during an armed robbery.

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