SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – The man who fatally shot a 17-year-old Casselberry teen at a park in 2018 during an attempted drug deal robbery was sentenced to 20 years after submitting a plea agreement Thursday.
“I’m just really, really glad that we do have an arrest,” said Williams’ grandmother Kim Crow after the arrest. “We did not want him to be forgotten or a statistic or an unsolved case.”
Ricks’ plea agreement on a second-degree murder charge, burglary of a conveyance with assault or battery, and attempted robbery with a firearm. He was originally facing a first-degree murder charge along with attempted robbery charges.
“You have lost someone that you loved deeply, believe me I understand. I don’t understand to the extent to which you do because that was your family,” Ricks’ sister said the the victim’s family after the hearing. “...But please know that he’s sorry. I’m sorry. I apologize from the bottom of my heart, I do, please it was an accident. Please, please forgive my brother.”
Crow said she did not think it was “the time” when Ricks’ sister offered the apology after the plea hearing
“I’m going through the worst day and I can’t make someone else feel better when my world is falling apart,” she said.
Crow told News 6 earlier this month she was “hugely disappointed” at the possibility of the plea deal and now that it was accepted, she told News 6 following the hearing she was very disappointed.
“He has 100 opportunities to not bring the gun when making the plan to ambush Bryce,” Crow said.
The attorney’s office made a statement following the hearing Thursday afternoon, saying negotiations began after he “agreed to accept responsibility” for the murder.
“No sentence can adequately account for the tragic death of a 17-year-old young man and I understand the frustration and anger felt by the Williams family. However, serving 20 years in state prison is a very long time, and I hope ultimately it will provide closure, healing, and justice on behalf of Bryce and his loved ones,” said State Attorney Phil Archer in a release.
The victim’s family, including his grandmother, were in the courtroom. News 6′s Nadeen Yanes reported they were emotional and Ricks’ family was present with T-shirts to support him.
Judge Marlene Alva: “While I understand your feelings & there is no sentence that will be satisfactory in this case…but there are a number of factors that come & brought us in this position today & we will accept a negotiated plea.”— Nadeen Yanes (@NadeenNews6) June 17, 2021
Victim advocate says “I’m sorry” to family. https://t.co/2AIyE6Q3pZ
Ricks will serve concurrent sentences for the charges, which will be 20 years in state prison. He was given credit for 470 days already served, according to the state attorney’s office.
Police said Williams was sitting in a car with two friends when he was shot in the head, leading him to crash the car into a nearby home.
The Casselberry Police Department said shortly after the arrest that DNA found on the car door handle led to Ricks’ arrest. Officers said Williams was at the park to “serve marijuana or get marijuana” when a man went up to the car, tapped the window with a gun, opened the door and shot the 17-year-old.
While police interviewed Ricks and two friends who were with him at the time of the shooting, a friend of Ricks told officers he was with the suspect and two others at the park with the intent to commit a robbery. Reports show Ricks and the two other friends ran to a getaway car following the shooting and as they were driving away, Ricks said he accidentally shot Williams.