DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – A 20-year-old found guilty in the death of a father after a shooting at a house party in 2019 was sentenced on Friday to 45 years in prison.
James Powell was convicted in March on charges of second-degree murder and aggravated battery. The judge sentenced Powell to 45 years in prison followed by life probation.
[TRENDING: Become a News 6 Insider]
Powell was 15 years old when investigators said he and another teen crashed an Oak Hill house party and were told to leave, with Powell shooting the homeowner — Joel Tatro, 45, who was hosting the party for his high school children — leaving him paralyzed from the neck down.
Tatro died in March 2022 from COVID-19 with complications from the gunshot, according to the medical examiner.
BREAKING: The judge has sentenced James Powell to 45 years in prison for the murder of Joel Tatro, followed by life probation.— Mark Lehman (@MarkLehman6) May 19, 2023
Powell is eligible for a sentence review in 25 years.https://t.co/9r3bLM9bFZ pic.twitter.com/ojpHkq7Gc7
Prosecutors argued the shooting caused health complications that led to Tatro’s death and upgraded Powell’s charges to first-degree murder.
During the trial, jurors heard from Wyatt Tatro — Joel Tatro’s son — that he knew the shooter from school, reiterating how the now-19-year-old was not invited to the house party.
According to the arrest affidavit, the situation escalated after Tatro told Powell to leave. Investigators said Powell pulled a gun from his waistband and shot Tatro during a scuffle.
Powell faced up to life in prison on both the second-degree murder charge and aggravated battery charge.
After hearing from his family, James Powell is now speaking in court.— Mark Lehman (@MarkLehman6) May 19, 2023
He’s taking issue with claims about his criminal history.
Says he’s not a violent person and asking for leniency from the judge.https://t.co/9r3bLM9bFZ pic.twitter.com/YuWzq33j0A
Get today’s headlines in minutes with Your Florida Daily: