December 20, 2005 |
Lionel Tate is competent to face probation violation charges that could end in a life sentence, a judge ruled Monday after two psychologists said the convicted killer was feigning hearing voices in his head. Tate faked mental problems after an older Broward County Jail inmate convinced the 18-year-old it would help his case, one of Tate's attorneys acknowledged. The other inmate, Sanders Hightower, wrote the letter signed by Tate that led to the competency hearing, Tate's lawyers said.
December 6, 2005 |
The court hearing to determine Lionel Tate's future was postponed Monday after he wrote to a judge about voices in his head telling him to commit suicide. The handwritten letter prompted acting Broward County Circuit Judge Joel T. Lazarus to schedule a Dec. 19 competency hearing, at least temporarily delaying proceedings that could end with Tate receiving up to a life sentence.
June 23, 2005 |
A 13-year-old boy has recanted his claim that Lionel Tate -- the youngest American once sentenced to life in prison -- robbed a pizza deliveryman at gunpoint, Tate's lawyer said Wednesday. Lawyer James Lewis said the boy, Taquincy Tomkins, has now told private investigators that a 16-year-old whom Taquincy knows only as "Willie" committed the May 23 robbery.
May 25, 2005 |
Lionel Tate, the youngest person ever sentenced to life in prison without parole in the United States before being freed on appeal last year, was back behind bars Tuesday on suspicion of holding up a pizza deliveryman at gunpoint, officials said. It was the second time that Tate, 18, had been arrested since his release from prison. Tate was convicted in 2001 of beating a 6-year-old playmate to death two years earlier, when he was 12.
September 16, 2004 |
Lionel Tate, the teen sentenced to life in prison in a 6-year-old girl's death but later freed, did not violate probation because officers illegally searched him after his mother ordered him to leave their home, his lawyer said. At a hearing, Circuit Judge Joel Lazarus set a trial for Oct. 29 on charges that Tate, 17, had violated probation by leaving his apartment this month while under house arrest and carrying a weapon. No bail was set and Tate remained in jail.
January 30, 2004 |
On the eve of his 17th birthday, Lionel Tate came back to court to plead guilty Thursday to beating a playmate to death when he was 12, but did not respond to pleas from the victim's mother that he admit that the young girl's death was no accident. "This was not child's play. That was not roughhousing. This was a brutal murder," an emotional Dewesse Eunick-Paul told the court, eulogizing daughter Tiffany Eunick, 6, as "a beautiful first-grade angel."