Tat’yana Mekeva Gaston faces a maximum of life imprisonment, after she was arrested as an accomplice to a crime under new sate law
Gaston, 23, was arrested for her part in a failed robbery in Tampa, Florida, on May 31, but the date she lured killed her accomplice
She catfished the intended victim using app, BLK, posing as 22-year-old named Jada
When Gaston’s brother, armed with a knife and wearing a mask, tried to rob the man, the target shot him, ‘in self-defense’
Jermon Jerome Kennard, an 18-year-old high school senior, died of multiple gunshot wounds to his head and chest
Gaston who identified her date as “the boy” who killed her brother, told cops she thought her brother was going outside to sell someone an iPhone 13
Searching for her brother, she heard gunshots and saw ‘the boy’ walk up to his car and depart, Gaston told officers
However, police found her texts instructing Kennard to come outside in preparation for the robbery
Gaston is charged with second-degree murder under new Florida law implicating anyone involved in crime
She faces a maximum of life imprisonment, life on probation, and maximum fine of $10,000
A Florida woman is charged with the murder of her teenage brother after their plot to rob a man ended with the mark 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, police said.
Her younger brother Jermon Kennard, 18, was waiting there with a knife.
Ultimately 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 was arrested last week Friday and charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of her younger brother, Jermon Jerome Kennard, 18, the Tampa Bay Times reported.
Police say Gaston matched with a person on the dating app BLK posing as a 22-year-old woman named “Jada.” She asked the person, who is not named in court records, to meet her at Kain Palms Apartments, where her brother, Jermon Kennard, was waiting nearby to rob the person.
However when the high school senior, who was wearing a mask threatened Gaston’s date with a knife, the 31-year-old mark shot Kennard with a gun that was concealed in his waistband.
Kennard was taken to Tampa General Hospital, where he died of gunshot wounds to his head and chest, records state. Kennard had turned 18 in April and was finishing up senior year at Carver Exceptional Center, northeast Tampa.
Gaston later told police she thought her brother was going outside to sell someone an iPhone 13.
She said she went outside the apartment complex to check on him and saw a male she didn’t know walking away from a gray Nissan Altima parked near the building. She couldn’t find her brother and heard five gunshots. She identified the male as “the boy” who killed her brother.
Gaston’s story unraveled after detectives found texts contradicting her version, where she had asked her brother to come outside quickly before the person arrived.
Furthermore, nearby motion sensor cameras captured the robbery and placed Kennard and Gaston at the scene, according to police. However, the knife was not visible in the footage, and the shooting was not captured on video.
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.
Even though she didn’t pull the trigger, Gaston is still charged in her brother’s death because of a Florida statute that says when a person is killed in a felony or in an attempted felony, such as a robbery, anyone involved in the crime can be charged with murder.
In Florida, second degree murder carries a maximum penalty of life in prison, life on probation, and a fine no higher than $10,000.
In Florida suspects can be charged with second degree murder under Title XLVI, enacted in 2021, 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.
Florida laws 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 Friday.
Tat’yana Gaston is facing prosecution under Florida’s non-premeditated murder law for accomplices.
This new statue – Title XLVI – was enacted in 2021, which 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. Sometimes this can stretch to first-degree murder second-degree murder, when a defendant or another participant in a felony crime causes unlawful killing.
Those instances include: Arson, Drugs trafficking, Sexual battery, Robbery, Burglary, Kidnapping, Aggravated child abuse, Aircraft piracy, Carjacking, Terrorism and Human trafficking.
In Florida second-degree murder carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment, life on probation, and a fine no higher than $10,000.