Florida State Attorney fires back at DeSantis over triple-murder suspect Keith Moses' lengthy criminal history
ORLANDO, Fla. - Florida State’s Attorney Monique Worrell is firing back at Governor Ron DeSantis’ office for claims made that prosecutors failed to keep triple murder suspect Keith Moses off the streets.
"This isn’t about whether or not I’m following the law. This isn’t about whether or not my policies are a danger to public safety. This is about the governor wanting to control politics across the state and quite frankly it’s dangerous because this is a democracy it’s not a dictatorship," said Worrell.
DeSantis’ office sent a letter to Worrell asking for details about Moses’ juvenile record. In it, they claim her office failed to hold Moses accountable for his actions.
"I know the district attorney, state attorney in Orlando that you don’t prosecute people and that’s the way that you somehow have better communities," said DeSantis is a recent press conference.
Orange County Sheriff John Mina had said that Moses had a lengthy and violent juvenile history that had upwards of 20 arrests. Worrell says he had four felony charges, including things like robbery and grand theft of a car.
Moses’ juvenile arrests came back in 2018 and 2019 long before Worrell took over as State Attorney. Even so, she stands by with how her office handled the cases.
"He was out on the streets because he did not commit an offense that would have required or even justified life imprisonment," said Worrell.
Worrell also says statewide policies prevented her office from prosecuting Moses’ adult charge of possession of marijuana.
"As prosecutors, we uphold the law. Upholding the law does not mean that we just throw things against the wall to see what sticks. It means we prosecute cases that we believe can be proven beyond and to the exclusion of any reasonable doubt," said Worrell.
Christian Minor of the Juvenile Justice Association, a lobbying group, says that the Juvenile justice system is working in Florida.
He points out that State Attorney’s have the power to charge violent juveniles as adults if they think the crime is appropriate. They can also assess the juvenile’s risk to public safety.
"It’s kind of a scorecard that provides a full diagnostic report card. Whether they should be placed in a diversion or probation type program, or they should be moved into a lengthy stay in the deep end part of the system," said Minor.
Mark NeJame who is now representing all the families affected by Moses’ alleged murder spree feels that Worrell holds no responsibility for what happened to his clients. He believes this narrative is an attempt to avoid the real issue at hand
"The issue is why are we allowing 19-year-olds to have easy access to firearms? Why do we have this epidemic going on in this country? Why do we have it going on in our community," asked Mark Nejame. "The governor needs to address that rather than hiding behind some false narrative, to deceive the public."
Nejame says the Governor still hasn’t reached out to the families affected about the shootings. Instead, he feels the Governor is using their pain for political gain