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Lionel Tate

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 30, 2001
Re "Assigning the Blame in Murder by a Child's Hand," by Mike Downey, Jan. 26: I am deeply saddened by Tiffany Eunick's murder. I am greatly disturbed by the conviction of Lionel Tate, a 13-year-old, in an adult court. I am puzzled. Where were the adults who were responsible for raising these children? Where were the mothers and fathers, whose role and responsibility it was to protect and teach these children right from wrong? The question, Mike Downey, is why have parents abandoned responsibility for their own children?
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NATIONAL
May 20, 2006 | Jon Burstein, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Tears ran down Lionel Tate's chubby cheeks when the 14-year-old left a Broward County courtroom in handcuffs as the youngest American ever sentenced to life in prison. Five years later, having squandered two chances at freedom, the lean-faced Tate calmly walked out of the same courtroom Thursday after being sentenced to 30 years in prison for violating his probation for the murder of first-grader Tiffany Eunick.
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NATIONAL
May 25, 2005 | John-Thor Dahlburg, Times Staff Writer
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.
NATIONAL
March 2, 2006 | Jon Burstein, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Lionel Tate, convicted for stomping a girl to death when he was 12, pleaded guilty Wednesday to robbing a pizza deliveryman. Tate risked spending the rest of his life in prison if he kept fighting the criminal cases stacked against him, but until Wednesday morning he had refused to take a plea deal. The 19-year-old told his lawyer Tuesday that he wanted to gamble that a judge wouldn't take away his freedom forever.
NATIONAL
December 20, 2005 | Jon Burstein, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
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.
NATIONAL
January 30, 2004 | John-Thor Dahlburg, Times Staff Writer
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."
NATIONAL
September 16, 2004 | From Times Wire Reports
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.
NEWS
March 10, 2001 | MIKE CLARY, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A 14-year-old boy who said he was merely imitating his pro wrestling heroes when he killed a young playmate was sentenced Friday to life in prison without parole--a fate that some jurors and even the prosecutor say is too harsh. Broward County Judge Joel T. Lazarus imposed the mandatory sentence on Lionel Tate, calling his actions "cold, callous and indescribably cruel."
NATIONAL
January 5, 2004 | From Times Wire Reports
A teen whose life sentence for beating a 6-year-old playmate to death was thrown out signed documents pleading guilty to second-degree murder in a deal that could get him out of prison as early as this month. Lionel Tate, 16, signed the papers at a maximum-security juvenile prison in Okeechobee, where he is being held in the 1999 death of Tiffany Eunick.
NATIONAL
January 1, 2004 | From Associated Press
The mother of a teenager who received a life sentence for murdering a 6-year-old playmate has approved a plea bargain that could allow the boy to be released from prison in the next month, an attorney said Wednesday. Richard Rosenbaum, Lionel Tate's attorney, said the teen had been awaiting his mother's approval. Rosenbaum estimated Tate could be released Jan. 29. "Lionel Tate is ready to move on to the next stage of his life," Rosenbaum said.
NATIONAL
December 20, 2005 | Jon Burstein, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
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.
NATIONAL
December 6, 2005 | Jon Burstein, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
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.
NATIONAL
June 23, 2005 | From Associated Press
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.
NATIONAL
May 25, 2005 | John-Thor Dahlburg, Times Staff Writer
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.
NATIONAL
September 16, 2004 | From Times Wire Reports
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.
NATIONAL
January 30, 2004 | John-Thor Dahlburg, Times Staff Writer
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."
NATIONAL
June 23, 2005 | From Associated Press
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.
NEWS
January 26, 2001 | MIKE DOWNEY
A very disturbing trial came to an end Thursday, with a 13-year-old from Florida convicted of first-degree murder. He was 12 when he killed a 6-year-old girl with his bare hands. What's bone-chilling is how many times we're hearing of adolescents--or even prepubescents--committing murder. A kid named Kipland Kinkel was 15 when he shot his parents to death in May 1998, then went to an Oregon school and opened fire, killing two and wounding 22.
NATIONAL
January 27, 2004 | John-Thor Dahlburg, Times Staff Writer
Lionel Tate walked side by side with his mother out of the Broward County Jail on Monday after a judge ordered the 16-year-old Florida boy, once sentenced to life in prison for first-degree murder, freed on bond. On Thursday, Tate is expected to enter a formal plea of guilty to second-degree murder in exchange for a much reduced sentence of three years' imprisonment, one year of house arrest and 10 years of probation.
NATIONAL
January 26, 2004 | John-Thor Dahlburg, Times Staff Writer
Sixteen-year-old Lionel Tate, sent behind bars for the rest of his life for a murder he committed at age 12, could be a free boy again as soon as today. At their Pembroke Park residence in suburban Fort Lauderdale, his mother has been readying her only child's room. "My son wants to come home. I want him home," said Kathleen Grossett-Tate, a Florida Highway Patrol trooper.
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