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Teen found guilty of murdering security guard

Terrance Anthony Jr. was found guilty of first-degree murder of a security guard at an Orlando apartment complex.

The jury deliberated for about four hours in the murder trial against the teenager accused of shooting and killing a security guard at the Sabal Palms apartments in 2012.

According to prosecutors, Anthony shot 48-year-old Allen Ray McPherson at nearly point-blank range while trying to rob the man.

McPherson’s widow wiped away tears after the jury delivered its verdict.

The prosecution and defense presented their closing arguments to the 12-person jury Tuesday afternoon.

Assistant State Attorney Michelle Latham built much of the case against 18-year-old Anthony on the testimony of his friend and fellow Orange County Jail inmate who acted as an informant. The informant wore a recording device and got Anthony to admit to the shooting on tape.

According to Latham, the secret recording bolstered other evidence in recorded calls Anthony placed to friends and family members while in jail.

In those calls, Anthony repeatedly asked about a block party that happened the same night as the deadly shooting, which he later said he attended to prove he could not have committed the murder.

But prosectors said his alibi was a lie.

“He killed somebody and all he’s worried about is himself,” Latham said in closings. “He cares about his friends covering for him. He didn’t care (about the victim). He cares that he’s going to get caught.”

Latham also shared a Facebook posting that Anthony put up shortly after the slaying. In the post, prosecutors said, Anthony asked for forgiveness from God and said he had never done anything so stupid in his life.

However, Anthony’s defense attorney Laura Klossner said Orlando police had no witnesses who saw the shooting, no DNA linking Anthony to the crime and never had enough evidence to warrant the charges against Anthony, who was 16 at the time of the killing.

Klossner attacked the state’s theory that the killing was prompted by a robbery because the victim’s cell phone and laptop were left behind.

Then about a month after the shooting, the gun used to kill McPherson – a silver and black Jimenez Arms semi-automatic handgun – was found on another suspect in a separate crime.

As for the recorded conversation with the informant, Anthony’s attorney said he only went along with the story to seem tougher in jail.

Klossner said there were too many holes in the case to know without a doubt if Anthony was the triggerman who held a gun less than an inch away from McPherson’s neck and fired the deadly shot.

The case went the to jury about 2:30 p.m. Since then the jurors requested to listen again to the audio recording from the conversation Anthony had with the informant.

Anthony faces life in prison.

dstennett@tribune.com or 407-420-5447

Copyright © 2014, Orlando Sentinel

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