15-year-old accused of crashing party, shooting man will remain in custody

James Powell's attorney says his client reacted to aggression

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – A judge Thursday ordered a 15-year-old accused of crashing a party and shooting a man in Oak Hill to remain in state custody.

James Powell, who was wanted on an attempted second-degree murder charge, turned himself in at the Daytona Beach Police Department on Wednesday.

Officials said Sylvano Leslie II, 17, who was wanted on the same charge, turned himself in Monday evening.

The teens were arrested in connection with the shooting of Joel Tatro, 45. Tatro was taken to Halifax Health, where he was in critical but stable condition, according to deputies. Family members say Tatro is paralyzed from the neck down.

The shooting occurred just after 1 a.m. Sunday in the 100 block of East Church Street in Oak Hill, where authorities said a man was hosting a party for his children, who are in high school.

A confrontation arose when the teens, who were not invited to the party, arrived and one of them refused to leave, according to officials. Deputies said Tatro was shot in the neck during an altercation.

At Thursday's detention hearing, the attorney for Powell said his client reacted to initial aggression from the victim.

"By all accounts, no shooting happened until after the physical confrontation," Carlus Haynes said. "I don't believe that it was a second-degree attempted murder. I don't believe there was any intent that he had to necessarily harm anyone."

A witness at the scene told authorities that Powell told Tatro he was going to kill him before firing the gun, according to the incident report.

Powell was ordered to remain in state custody for at least 24 days. He is scheduled for a secure detention review at 8:30 a.m. March 6 in Daytona Beach.

About the Author:

Mark Lehman became a News 6 reporter in July 2014, but he's been a Central Florida journalist and part of the News 6 team for much longer. While most people are fast asleep in their bed, Mark starts his day overnight by searching for news on the streets of Central Florida.