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FORT MYERS | 20-year-old sentenced to 40 years for killing of 16-year-old boy

Syrene Trice
Posted at 4:20 PM, Nov 06, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-07 07:06:14-05

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The now 20-year-old man, convicted of killing a 16-year-old boy in April 2022, will spend 40 years in prison.

A judge sentenced Syncere Trice on Monday to a minimum mandatory 40 years in prison, taking into account 560 days for time served, ultimately spending a little more than 38 years behind bars.

Fort Myers Police say Trice got into a fight with another group in Southward Village. Shots were fired and 16-year-old De'Mari Jackson, an innocent bystander, pushed a girl out of the way.

The Fort Myers High School football player and the girl ran off. When they stopped, she realized Jackson had been shot. He was rushed to the hospital where he died.

Trice was arrested for second-degree murder two days later.

In September 2023, a jury found him guilty of murder.

When his sentencing came, family members were able to say their final words to Trice.

"I must say my life has not been the same since the day that I lsot the one that I love so dearly to such a tragic crime," Jackson's 12-year-old cousin said. "Because of the that selfish act, I am left with only memories that only make me smile for a split second."

Along with his cousin, Jackson's aunt spoke to the courtroom.

"If I knew it would be the last time that I would see you walk out the door, I would give you a hug, give you a kiss and call you back for one more," she said. "We love you, Bubba. De'Mari Jackson, love you always."

During these words, Trice stood next to his attorney with no emotion and only answering the judge. When asked if he had any words to the family, he said no.

"My heart is so heavy, honestly for the lost of my loved one," Jackson's 12-year-old cousin said. "He didn't have a chance to experience a lot of things in life, because it was all taken away from him and my heart will forever be heavy."

The defense asked the judge for 25 years minimum mandatory, but sided with the prosecutors.

Trice will also be on probation for 10 years and cannot contact Jackson's family.