Monday, Mar 30, 2015

Pinellas murder suspect pleads to lesser charge

Tribune Staff
Published:   |   Updated: April 25, 2014 at 05:30 PM

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— One of three suspects charged in the murder of a 39-year-old man in Pinellas Park pleaded guilty on Friday to lesser charges in exchange for his testimony.

Randy White, 21, was charged with first-degree murder and robbery in the May 7, 2012, shooting death of David Rhea, 39, at Rhea’s home at 5800 94th Ave. N. A conviction would have led to a life sentence.

In a deal between his attorney, Charles Holloway, and the Pinellas-Pasco State Attorney’s Office, White reluctantly pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and robbery in exchange for a 25-year sentence.

The target of the incident is Cody Dials, who fired at Rhea three times, striking him twice, prosecutors said outside court. Dials has yet to go to trial. The third suspect, Zachery Perrine, hasn’t gone to trial.

Investigators have said the three, who were living in various hotels at the time, went to Rhea’s home to break in, having learned he kept a large amount of cash on him. A large amount of money went missing.

White wavered on his willingness to testify before accepting the terms of the plea. But prosecutors say they don’t need his testimony, as they have a plethora of evidence such as phone records, other witness testimony and physical evidence.

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