Harrison unanimously found guilty by jury, faces life in prison.http://www.pnj.com/story/news/crime/2014/07/15/conviction-murder-outside-dominoes/12715767/
The evidence against a Pensacola man accused of killing a 19-year-old Domino's Pizza delivery driver wasn't wrapped up in a pretty little bow for the jury.
In fact, the case against Gary Harrison, 46, had quite a few loose ends. However, an Escambia County jury found there was enough evidence to convict Harrison of premeditated first-degree murder in the 2011 stabbing death of Tyler Hinkle.
The State Attorney's Office said Harrison approached Hinkle outside the Domino's Pizza on Navy Boulevard on a September night and stabbed him in the heart. Harrison reportedly stole money from Hinkle — allegedly to buy cocaine — and fled through a wooded trail to his grandfather's Warrington home.
Hinkle stumbled into the pizza parlor before eventually succumbing to his wounds.
There was no forensic evidence to tie Harrison to the crime. The murder weapon was never found. DNA swabs of Hinkle's clothing and fingernails showed no trace of Harrison.
However, Harrison's brother, Ashlen Harrison, took the stand to testify against him.
Ashlen testified that after hearing the murder occurred near their grandfather's home, he went to see if his brother could give him any details. He said his brother instead gave him a confession.
"He let me know the guy got (stabbed), that he did it and it was over $80 and some cocaine," Ashlen said.
Harrison, glowering furiously and emphatically shaking his bald head, angrily mouthed the words "He's lying" to his attorney during his brother's testimony.
The caveat of Ashlen's confession was that he is an 11-time convicted felon awaiting sentencing for theft. He told the jury that he hoped his testimony would help persuade a judge to lessen his sentence.
Another reported eye witness testified under similar circumstances. Jamil Tenon, 30, has eight felony convictions and is awaiting a sentencing for violating probation. Tenon testified he was waiting in the Dominoes parking lot to conduct a drug deal when he saw Harrison scuffle with Hinkle, then run past his vehicle.
Assistant State Attorney Bridgette Jensen told jurors they might not like the character of the witnesses, but that they shouldn't discount their testimony.
"It may not be pretty," Jensen said of the case. "It may not be that perfect episode of CSI, but as we discussed before, this isn't CSI. This is real life."
If the jury had any concerns over the credibility of the state's witnesses, it didn't show. The jury unanimously found Harrison guilty as charged after a little more than an hour of deliberation.Harrison will be sentenced by Circuit Judge Michael Allen and faces life in prison.