Detectives charge 2 suspects in homicide

Both suspects were positively identified


WINTER HAVEN, Fla. – The Polk County Sheriff's Office obtained warrants charging two suspects in the homicide of Larry Graham, 17, of Winter Haven.

According to the affidavits, on Monday, Todd Gates Jr., 19, and Jacob Byers, 20, both of 2626 Avenue U NW in Winter Haven, drove to Kim Street in Auburndale with Graham for the purpose of robbing someone. During the robbery, Graham was fatally shot.

Deputies said Gates and Byers were positively identified as the two suspects with Graham during the robbery, and those responsible for his death. 

Gates has been in jail since Wednesday on drug charges and other unrelated counts, authorities said.

Deputies said detectives obtained warrants for Gates and Byers. Gates, who was already in jail, was additionally charged with first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, attempted armed robbery, armed burglary, tampering with evidence, grand theft of motor vehicle and possession of firearm by a convicted felon.

Byers turned himself in to authorities late Friday. He was booked in on the warrant, with the following charges: first-degree murder, attempted armed robbery, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, grand theft auto, and accessory after the fact in a capital felony.

A trial date has not yet been set.