Woman, 23, faces murder charges after ‘luring ‘date’ to a robbery using dating app BLK who then shot and killed her brother in self defense’
- Tat’yana Mekeva Gaston used dating app BLK to reel in attempted robbery victim
- But when Gaston’s brother pounced to steal from the man, he fatally shot him
- Jermon Kennard, 18, died of multiple gunshot wounds to his head and chest
- Gaston faces murder trial under new FL law implicating anyone involved in crime
A woman is charged with the murder of her teenage brother after their plot to rob a man ended with him shooting the boy dead.
Tat’yana Mekeva Gaston, 23, reeled in the unnamed 31-year-old on dating app BLK with plans to meet at Kain Palms Apartments, Tampa on Friday, May 31.
Her younger brother Jermon Kennard, 18, was waiting there with a knife.
Tat’yana Mekeva Gaston, 23, was arrested Friday for her part in the May 31 shooting
But the ‘date’, who had been catfished and was expecting to meet a 22-year-old named Jada, shot Jermon dead in self defense.
Under a new Florida law, Gaston has been charged with her brother’s murder, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
According to part 782.04 of statute Title XLVI, enacted in 2021, suspects can be charged with second-degree murder in the event of a death during the perpetration or attempted perpetration of a crime they’re involved in.
As Kennard’s accomplice in the attempted robbery which took his life, Gaston can therefore be held criminally responsible for his death.
The list of potential felonies which can bring an accomplice second degree murder charge includes arson, burglary, carjacking, kidnapping, robbery or drug trafficking.
The teen, who was wearing a mask, died of gunshot wounds to his chest and head.
He had turned 18 in April and was finishing up senior year at Carver Exceptional Center, northeast Tampa.
Tat’yana Gaston (left) has been charged with the murder of her younger brother Jermon (right) despite not killing him. She lied to police about their intention to rob her 31-year-old ‘date’
Big sister Gaston lied to police that she thought her brother was going to sell the man an iPhone.
She claimed there was no planned robbery, Hillsborough County Sheriff said.
But cops found that she had texted Jarmon telling him to come outside in preparation for the robbery.
In Florida, second degree murder carries a maximum penalty of life in prison, life on probation, and a fine no higher than $10,000.
Tampa, FL’s Kain Palms Apartment complex was the scene of Kennard’s self defense shooting
Gaston catfished her 31-year-old date using dating app BLK, where she posed as ‘Jada’, 22
Florida books also state that a person who uses a firearm to commit second degree murder must face a minimum sentence of 25 years behind bars.
Gaston has been released on a $15,000 bond.
Jermon’s obituary states: ‘He will be missed dearly by all who knew him.’
His funeral will take place tomorrow (June 10).
What is Florida’s non-premeditated murder law for accomplices?
Title XLVI part 782.04, enacted in 2021, states that second degree murder can be ‘committed by a person engaged in the perpetration of, or in the attempt to perpetrate’, a long list of felonies in which a person is inadvertently killed.
- Drugs trafficking
- Sexual battery
- Aggravated child abuse
- Aircraft piracy
- Human trafficking
Rahul Parikh, from firm Florida Trial Lawyer, states: ‘If the defendant or another criminal participant in the felony caused the unlawful killing, state law requires a charge of first-degree murder rather than second-degree murder.
‘Florida uses these laws to curb unintended deaths as a result of felonious activities.’
Second degree murder in Florida carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, life on probation, and a fine no higher than $10,000.
Florida has the death penalty – but only for first degree murder.
Since 2017, a jury must unanimously recommend capital punishment before a judge can enforce it.