Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Shooter Convicted in Death; Killed Roommate in Mayport Home

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Shooter Convicted in Death; Killed Roommate in Mayport Home

Article excerpt

Byline: Paul Pinkham, Times-Union staff writer

A jury late last night convicted Christopher Todd Timmons of first-degree murder in the shooting death of Raul Cruz Valentin last year.

Earlier yesterday, Timmons testified he shot Valentin, 38, out of fear after Valentin threatened him in their Mayport apartment.

Timmons, 28, said he and Valentin argued monthly over rent money during the time he let Valentin live in the Mallard Cove apartment from July 2002 to November.

The night of the slaying, Timmons said he came home from a date and Valentin was snorting heroin with friends in the living room. He said he used Valentin's bathroom then went to his bedroom to sleep. But Valentin banged on his door and told him to stay out of his bathroom and again threatened to kill him.

"I went and got my gun, I loaded it and I went out and shot him," Timmons testified yesterday. "He was raging on drugs and alcohol and he made a threat. ... I was in fear for my life."

On cross examination, Timmons admitted Valentin never touched him and that his anger had been building against his roommate, a Marine Corps veteran who served in Desert Storm.

Assistant Public Defender Lewis Buzzell said there was no question a homicide occurred but argued it didn't amount to premeditated first-degree murder.

Timmons now faces life in prison. A sentencing date has not been scheduled.

CRIME NEWS

HOMICIDE: A Jacksonville man was found shot to death Wednesday night a short time after his vehicle was carjacked, police said.

The man, thought to be in his early 30s, has not been identified, homicide Sgt. Shannon Douberly said.

At least two men approached the victim while he was in a sport utility vehicle in the 1500 block of Powhattan Street and managed to get control of the vehicle. They drove off with the man and his female acquaintance inside, Douberly said.

The woman jumped out of the vehicle at the corner of Myrtle Avenue and Beaver Street and called police from a pay phone. …

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