BONIFAY – An inmate accused of stabbing and killing another prisoner in Holmes Correctional Institution was found guilty of murder Thursday and sentenced to Life in prison without the possibility of parole, State Attorney Larry Basford announced.
Raymond Strong, 38, was found guilty as charged of Second Degree Murder after about 90 minutes of deliberation by a Holmes County jury. At the sentencing hearing immediately following the two-day trial, Circuit Court Judge Russell Roberts sentenced the defendant to Life in prison.
The 10 witnesses and evidence, including video of the attack from the state prison, presented by Holmes County Chief Prosecutor Ben Keown proved that Strong repeatedly stabbed Kevin Parker after chasing him up a set of stairs. Medical Examiner Dr. Jay Radtke testified Parker, who was unarmed, was stabbed 11 times. One of the wounds severed his aorta, which Radtke said would cause death in minutes.
The defendant, representing himself, admitted stabbing the victim but claimed it was self-defense. That was rejected by Keown and Co-counsel Megan Ford as well as the jury.
“When someone flees – especially when they’re unarmed – you can’t use deadly force and you can’t kill an unarmed man when he is running away from you,” Keown said. “Kevin Parker may have been in prison, but he had a life to live, that he deserved to live, and that was cut short by the choice of Raymond Strong.”
Evidence showed the victim initiated an unarmed confrontation with the defendant and co-defendant Quants Johnson the night of April 19, 2020. The victim, however, disengaged from the fight and was fleeing up a set of stairs when the defendant and co-defendant chased and caught him.
Evidence showed the defendant, armed with a shank, or homemade knife, was on top of the victim stabbing him repeatedly. Correctional Officers were at the scene within minutes, rushing the victim to the infirmary and then the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Investigators recovered a bloody shank nearby and DNA analysis showed the defendant’s DNA on the handle, blade and a clip attached to the knife.
Basford thanked the Holmes Correctional Institution staff, the Inspector General and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement for their work on the case that led to key evidence.
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