Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and Senator Rick Scott are demanding answers from Orlando’s prosecutor, whose office failed to keep the 19-year-old mobster who murdered a journalist and a nine-year-old girl off the streets despite his lengthy criminal record.
Keith Melvin Moses is in jail for the murders of journalist Dylan Lyons, nine-year-old T’Yonna Major, and 38-year-old Nathacha Augustin.
All three were murdered last week in Pine Hills, near Orlando, after Moses, who is believed to be on drugs, began a random killing spree.
Moses had been arrested 19 times in the past on suspicion of a range of crimes, including grand larceny, burglary and attempted murder. Most of the crimes occurred when he was a minor, so the outcome of the arrests is unknown.
State Attorney Monique Worrell has defended not incarcerating or even prosecuting him in November 2021 after he was found in a car with a gun and marijuana. She says the crimes have not risen to the level needed for a conviction.
Keith Melvin Moses is in jail for the murders of journalist Dylan Lyons, nine-year-old T’Yonna Major, and 38-year-old Nathacha Augustin
State Attorney Monique Worrell has defended not incarcerating or even prosecuting him in November 2021 after he was found in a car with a gun and marijuana. She says the crimes have not risen to the level needed for a conviction
“In hindsight it’s 20/20…my prosecutors don’t have a crystal ball, there’s no way they can decide how dangerous someone will be in the future,” she said in an interview with WESH this week.
Now both Governor DeSantis and Senator Scott are demanding full records from Moses.
They say if the “suspected failures” of Worrell’s office are confirmed, she should be removed from her position.
In a letter to her office, DeSantis’ attorney said, “Tragically, despite the clear threat Mr. Moses posed to our community, you apparently made the decision not to press charges against him.
Your agency’s failure to hold this individual accountable for his actions — despite his extensive criminal history and gang membership — may have allowed this dangerous individual to remain on the street.
“Obviously Mr. Moses should never have been able to commit those senseless crimes of last week.
“We need to determine whether he was made possible by gaps in our criminal laws that need to be corrected, or to be fair, your agency’s failure to deliver justice.”
Senator Scott said in a tweet, “Families in Central Florida deserve accountability. Which is why I’m demanding answers from State Attorney Worrell.
DeSantis’ office has ordered Monique Worrell’s office to release the shooter’s full file
“If the failures we suspect are confirmed, Governor DeSantis would be right to remove her.”
Worrell, in response, has criticized the two Republicans for “politicizing this tragedy.”
She continues to cite the fact that Moses was largely arrested as a minor.
Nathacha Augustin, 38, was Moses’ first victim
“There is nothing I have reviewed that has been done inappropriately. If you ask yourself why someone was on the street, we have to ask ourselves: do we want to sentence children to life imprisonment?
‘This is the only way to prevent someone who committed a criminal offense as a child from committing another criminal offense.’
She also says she is forbidden to share the details of his juvenile detentions.
It remains unclear what kind of drugs Moses was under the influence of when he committed the murders, but sheriffs who arrested him said he appeared to be high.
A booking photo taken not long after shows him struggling to focus his eyes.
The killings began around 11 a.m. on Wednesday, February 22.
Moses was walking down the street when his cousin, who has not been named, drove past him with Augustin in the passenger seat.
The cousin told police that Moses seemed “down,” so he offered him a ride. He got into the backseat, but then started ‘sweating’ and acting ‘weird’.
Moses killed reporter Dylan Lyons, left, and nine-year-old T’Yonna Major. He had never met either of them and has yet to explain his motive
Moses then pulled out a gun and shot Augustin, whom he had never met before, in the chin and fled.
Lyons, a journalist for Spectrum News 13, learned about the shooting and traveled to the crime scene to film a report.
At around 4 p.m., he and his cameraman Jesse Walden were setting up when Moses showed up at their vehicle.
He shot Walden, who was in the back of the vehicle retrieving their equipment, then walked to the front of the car, where he shot Lyons, who was in the passenger seat.
Moses then walked to T’Yonna Major’s house, entered through a side sliding door, and shot her and her mother. T’Yonna, nine, died of her injuries.
He knew none of his victims and refused to answer questions once he was in police custody.
Instead, detectives said he pretended to be asleep.
Moses missed a recent court hearing citing mental health issues as the reason.
It is unclear whether he will receive the death penalty.
Worrell declined to confirm whether her office would look into it, saying it would be “inappropriate” to discuss the matter.