Convicted murderer denied new trial

Gloria Gomez reports

- Nathaniel O'Neal's last taste of freedom was at a McDonald's in Tampa in the summer of 2014. Since then, he's been locked up for the murder of Akime Casey.

His attorney, John Grant is now fighting for a new trial, claiming the evidence in the first one was bad.

"Nobody said that Mr. O'Neal made a threat, at all, to take any action against Mr. Casey," Grant said in a hearing to ask for a new trial. "The gun was found nine hours later by Mr. Taylor, and no one can tie it to this offense at all."

Last month, a jury convicted O'Neal of killing Casey. Prosecutor Natalia Silver said the shooting happened at a Tampa apartment after the two argued about a woman.

"This crime happened just over somebody trying to talk to Mr. O'Neal's girlfriend. That's just the truth, that's what happened," said Silver.

But the defense claims key witnesses contradicted each other and some were caught lying on the stand. Prosecutors also said the police interrogation with O'Neal showed two detectives suggested their own theory of what happened.

But Silver said the evidence was solid and the motive was clear.

"Mr. O'Neal even stated himself to the detectives that if someone disrespects him, then he is going to approach that person about it and that's what he did," said Silver.

After hearing the arguments, the judge denied a request for a new trial. O'Neal's sentence is life in prison. He will now appeal to a higher court. 

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