DeSantis criticizes state attorney for not keeping Pine Hills shooting suspect off streets
ORLANDO - A battle is brewing between Gov. Ron DeSantis and Orange County's top prosecutor over who's to blame for last week's Pine Hills shooting that left three people dead.
The governor criticized state attorney Monique Worrell during a news conference Monday for not doing enough to keep criminals off the streets.
"You have to hold people accountable," DeSantis said. "I know the district attorney, state attorney, in Orlando thinks that you don't prosecute people and that's the way that you somehow have had a better community. That does not work."
The suspect in the shootings, 19-year-old Keith Moses, had a lengthy criminal record as a teen, according to the Orange County sheriff, including robbery with a deadly weapon. But as an adult, he had only one charge prior to the shootings, possession of marijuana (4.6 grams), for which he faced no jail time.
"When you have a quantity that low, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement does not test the substance, and that means the State Attorney's Office cannot prove the case," Worrell said in a briefing last week about the shootings.
She's calling for stricter sentences for teen criminals, especially those involved in violent crimes, as they can be kept in custody only for 18–36 months. It's something she pushed for a few weeks ago as well when an Amazon delivery driver was attacked by two suspects with lengthy records as teens.
"While I believe that rehabilitation is a goal for our children, when you have children who commit violent crime, we have to put programs in place that are going to reduce the likelihood of recidivism," Worrell said.
Worrell is planning to respond to DeSantis' comments directly during a one-on-one interview with FOX 35 that's scheduled to air Tuesday.