TAMPA, Fla. (FOX 13) - Stuart Beck was only 15 when he watched his father be murdered. Now 17 years old, Beck was called to testify during a bond hearing Friday for defendant Dontae Johnson.
Johnson and co-defendant Ramontrae Williams are charged with the murder of James Beck. Stuart says the day of the shooting, he was trying to sell his dirtbike on Craigslist and got an offer in Tampa.
"They basically asked me if I could ship the bike to Tampa and they would give me more money," said Stuart.
Instead, they agreed on $1,200 and Stuart and his dad would drive the bike to Tampa. Once they made it to the location, it was dark. Immediately, Stuart says, Williams made a request.
"One of them told us that they wanted to test ride it and we basically told them that we needed the cash first before they did that. So the taller individual handed over the cash and my dad counted it and it wasn't the right amount,” recalled Stuart.
Stuart says after coming up $1,000 short, his dad gave back the money. "The taller individual asked for it back and said 'Can I see' or something along those lines and put it into his jacket and then pulled out a gun.”
Stuart remembers his dad’s reaction
“My dad said, ‘Run to the truck!’ And I started running to the truck and my dad was getting into the driver’s seat and he got shot," Stuart said.
He says his dad was shot four or five times. "I ran to the side of the truck that I saw my dad getting into the driver’s seat and he had fallen to the ground.”
James Beck did not survive his injuries.
Meanwhile, Johnson's defense team then called witnesses who talked about his mental disabilities. Misty Winter, who became a surrogate mother to Johnson, called him a gentle giant. And his football coach at Plant High described him as a big teddy bear.
A judge may rule on Johnson's bond next week.