The Strong Defense
The Strong Defense
Six Year Sentence in Land O’Lakes Shooting Death
Seventeen-year-old Land O’Lakes High School student Dustin Sean White was shot and killed in a parking lot at a party in 2009. His acquaintance who fired the gun pleaded guilty to manslaughter as part of a plea agreement last week.
Douglas Gabriel Cevallos Jr. picked up a gun off the ground and waved it just before it went off, killing killed White. Cevallos, now 23, was sentenced to six years in prison and nine years of probation for manslaughter as part of a plea agreement.
According to media reports, White’s family was part of the plea discussions and had compassion for Cevallos’s situation but wanted to see him take responsibility for his actions. One condition of the plea agreement requires Cevallos to lecture students about the dangers of alcohol and guns. This was an important piece of the agreement to White’s family.
The shooting occurred in June 2009 during a fight outside a party in Land O’Lakes. Cevallos shot White with a .40-caliber handgun that had fallen from the pocket of someone involved in the fight.
The Pasco County Sheriff’s office indicated that it didn’t appear that Cevallos had the intent to shoot and kill White. Both teens had been at a party where alcohol and other substances were consumed. During the party, two brothers were asked to leave for some reason, according to law enforcement. White stayed inside the house.
The brothers went outside to a parking lot and got into a fight about 2 a.m. with other people who were at the party. White eventually went outside. As one of the brothers was fighting, the gun fell from his pocket. According to police, he had a concealed weapons permit for the gun.
Cevallos, who had no prior criminal record, picked up the handgun, waved it and fired the shot that killed White.