Christopher Taylor, a 26-year-old St. Petersburg man, pleaded guilty this week to second-degree murder for the 2007 shooting death of James Lasseter. Taylor was represented by Tampa Bay area criminal defense attorney Bjorn E. Brunvand.
Taylor entered a guilty plea in accordance with a plea agreement with prosecutors. Under the agreement negotiated between the state and the defense, Taylor was sentenced to 25 years in prison. He will be required to serve each day of the sentence but will receive credit for time already served in jail post-arrest.
Authorities alleged that Taylor shot Lasseter because he believed Lasseter sold him fake cocaine. Taylor was originally charged with first-degree murder which carries a mandatory life sentence upon conviction.
Local news reported that Assistant State Attorney Bill Burgess said he was pleased that the arrangement would take Taylor off the streets for 25 years. Taylor’s attorney Brunvand said the arrangement does provide “an opportunity for him to become a member of society again.”